What You Need to Know about Minimally Invasive Spine Surgeries

Posted on August 6, 2018

Back Doctor

When it comes to orthopedic spine surgery in Long Island, New York, new technology has helped reduce patient discomfort and recovery times through minimally invasive procedures. Keep reading to find out if this procedure is the right option for you.

Spinal Surgery through the Years

Spinal surgery has come a long way since ancient herbal medicine. Unearthed mummies of ancient Egypt suggest that they were the first civilization to practice spinal surgery. However, it was Hippocrates who took the study of the spinal cord to the next stage through extensive medical research.  Taking after Hippocrates, spinal procedures usually involved open surgery where a long incision is made near the affected area. The incision is then opened to allow the surgeon to see and work inside the body. Up until recently, this was the most common surgical method for spinal work as well as other operations like knee and hip replacement surgeries. In the last twenty years, however, medical technology has advanced to the point where open surgery may soon be obsolete.

Spine Surgeries

Minimally Invasive Surgery

As the name implies, minimally invasive spinal surgery (MISS) is not as intense compared to open spinal surgeries of the past. MISS is performed using only a few small incisions around the affected area. Your surgeon uses these small incisions to gain access to the area that needs attention. Specially designed tools are inserted into the incision including a miniature camera. Surgical cameras and operating room televisions allow the doctor to see inside your body without making large incisions. They will also use a device called a tubular retractor that separates the muscles around your spine and creates a pathway for the surgery tools. Unlike traditional open surgery, the muscles do not need to be cut to gain access to the surgery site. This technique means that the patient will experience faster recovery times as well as reduced tissue damage.

Recovery and Healing

By far the greatest advantage of minimally invasive surgery is the recovery time. Most patients can return home the same day as their MISS procedure. However, your doctor will still advise you to limit your activities following your procedures. For the first week, you should get plenty of rest and avoid lifting, bending, and twisting, as these movements can cause your incisions to break. When you can return to normal activities will depend on the type of spinal procedure you have. For example, if you had a fusion procedure, it could be several months before you can perform even light lifting. Your orthopedic spine surgeon in Long Island, New York will develop a recovery plan that will help you return to your regular activities as soon as possible. To find out if minimally invasive surgery is an option for you, visit your doctor at Peconic Bay Medical Center.