Often, people who are struggling with chronic or recurring back or neck pain do not schedule a consultation with a spinal surgeon. The reason why is that they assume a surgeon will want to perform surgery. We understand why this misconception exists and continue to change it one patient at a time. If you have been living with back or neck pain that is affecting your day-to-day life, you have a lot to gain by consulting with a specialist. Know that, when you do, you are not obligated to have surgery. Most spine surgeons prefer to see patients get the help they need from conservative therapies. Surgery is only considered when it is the best choice. When it is the best choice, surgeons use minimally-invasive techniques whenever possible. Here, we answer common questions about minimally-invasive spine surgery.
What differentiates minimally invasive spine surgery from conventional surgery?
Traditional spinal surgeries are performed through long incisions. To access the spine, traditional techniques cut through muscle tissue. Minimally-invasive spine surgeries incur multiple small incisions rather than one long one. A surgeon may use small instruments through various incisions to complete a procedure. Additionally, instead of cutting muscle tissue, a minimally-invasive procedure usually separates muscles at their natural margins. In doing so, the bleeding risk and recovery time are lowered.
What spine problems can be treated with minimally-invasive surgery?
Minimally-invasive spine surgery continues to expand over time. Doctors trained in these techniques use them whenever possible. Some of the common issues that can be repaired with minimally-invasive surgery include herniated discs, sciatica, and spinal stenosis. Minimally-invasive procedures commonly performed include laminectomies, laminotomies, and microdiscectomies.
Do I have to stay in the hospital after minimally-invasive spine surgery?
Spine surgeries, traditional or minimally-invasive, are performed in the hospital. One benefit of minimally-invasive surgery is that the subsequent hospital stay should be shorter. Patients usually go home in two to three days. This may be longer in some cases.
Is physical therapy needed after minimally-invasive spine surgery?
Minimally-invasive spine surgery incurs smaller incisions and a shorter recovery time in most situations. Still, tissues are affected by the procedure as well as the injury that requires repair. Physical therapy helps restore strength, flexibility, and mobility that may have decreased substantially before surgery.
Princeton Neurological Surgery serves areas including Hamilton, Paramus, Morristown, Bridgewater, and Union, NJ. Contact an office near you to take back control over your quality of life.