Loss of work and income.
Loss of mobility.
Fear of pain.
Fear of a long recovery.
There are many reasons people don’t pursue back surgery even if they have been suffering with chronic back pain for a long time. But, today’s minimally invasive treatments have come a long way from the traditional back surgery that used to cost someone months of recovery time—recovery time that was sometimes harder to deal with than the pain they had been feeling pre-surgery.
When it comes to minimally invasive surgery for back pain today, what you don’t know could hurt you. With these procedures:
The surgery is shorter
Open surgery can be complicated, requiring the spinal surgeon to cut back muscles, tendons and/or ligaments. This is not required of most minimally invasive surgeries.
That means less tissue and muscle damage, less time under anesthesia, a lower likelihood of surgical complications, less stress on the body, a lower risk of infection, and a “lower incident of adjacent segment degeneration—a breakdown of the discs, vertebrae, joints and nerves” that can happen after a traditional back surgery and require a surgical revision, said DISC Spine Institute. DISC Spine Institute adds that some procedures can take as little as 30 minutes.
The incision is smaller
Incisions during a traditional back surgery can be five to six inches long, but not with minimally invasive surgery.
“In these procedures, doctors use specialized instruments to access the spine through small incisions,” said the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).
In fact, the incision can be as small as three millimeters. From a vanity standpoint, this is ideal because small incisions are more likely to fade and become far less noticeable. But more importantly, smaller incisions lower the risk of developing scar tissue.
There is less blood loss
The blood loss is typically so low during minimally invasive surgery—one-tenth of what it is during traditional surgery—that blood transfusions are generally not needed.
There is less pain
Naturally, a smaller incision means less potential for pain strictly because of the amount of “real estate” involved. But minimally invasive surgery also decreases the potential to damage normal tissue when it’s being cut in order to provide access to the spine.
Less pain means fewer pain killers. This is especially important for many people with the increasingly higher incidences of drug addictions related to these prescription medications. A top back surgeon will work together with a patient to make sure they have a solid pain management program and that all concerns are addressed.
There is less time in the hospital
In fact, in some cases, minimally invasive back surgery can even be performed on an outpatient basis. Patients can be up and walking and even going home within a few hours.
Ready to see a doctor?
Advancements in minimally invasive surgical procedures have changed the game for those who suffer from chronic back pain. If you’re tired of suffering and want to explore treatments that could put an end to your back pain for good, contact DISC Spine Institute, experts in minimally invasive treatments, the most effective medical procedures to treat and eliminate chronic back pain.