Spinal surgery has come a long way in the last 10 years, with the development of new techniques and approaches that have revolutionized our field. Two significant advances in recent years have been the use of minimally invasive spine surgery tactics and robotics in spine surgery.
Minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) is a technique that involves making smaller incisions and using specialized instruments to perform surgery on the spine. This approach offers several advantages over traditional (open) surgery, including lower risk of infection, less blood loss, shorter hospital stays, faster recovery times, and overall improved outcomes for patients.
Let’s explore those areas in greater detail.
Lower Risk of Infection
One of the biggest advantages of MISS is that it reduces the risk of infection compared to traditional open surgery. In traditional surgery, a large incision is made, which increases the risk of infection. In contrast, MISS involves making smaller incisions, which means that there is less tissue damage and less risk of infection. Additionally, because the incisions are smaller, they are easier to keep clean and less likely to become infected.
Less Blood Loss
MISS also reduces the amount of blood loss during surgery. This is because smaller incisions mean that there is less cutting of tissue, which reduces the amount of bleeding. With less blood loss, patients are less likely to require a blood transfusion, which can also reduce the risk of complications.
Shorter Hospital Stay
Another advantage of MISS is that it typically results in a shorter hospital stay for patients. Because the surgery is less invasive, patients often recover faster and can be discharged from the hospital sooner. This can reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections and other complications.
Faster Recovery Time
MISS also promotes a faster recovery time for patients. With less tissue damage and a smaller incision, patients experience less pain and discomfort after surgery. This means that they are often able to resume their normal activities sooner, which can improve their quality of life.
Overall, MISS has been shown to have similar or better outcomes compared to traditional open surgery. In fact, studies have shown that MISS can lead to improved patient outcomes, such as faster recovery times, reduced pain, and improved function. With the use of advanced imaging technology, such as fluoroscopy, surgeons are able to perform complex spinal procedures with greater precision and accuracy, which can further improve patient outcomes.
Another benefit, and possibly one of the most important, is that patients who undergo MISS often will experience less pain and require fewer pain medications.
Another key benefit of MISS is that it allows surgeons to perform complex spinal procedures with greater precision and accuracy.
Our team uses advanced imaging technology to visualize the surgical site in greater detail. This includes using fluoroscopy, which is a type of X-ray that can create real-time images of the spine during surgery. This provides the surgeon with a clear view of the surgical site and allows them to make precise adjustments during the procedure.
The combination of smaller incisions, specialized instruments, and advanced imaging technology allows surgeons to perform complex spinal procedures with greater precision and accuracy.
For example, MISS can be used to treat herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and other conditions that affect the spinal cord and nerves. With MISS, surgeons can access the affected area of the spine through a small incision, without having to cut through muscle and other tissues. This reduces the risk of damage to surrounding structures and can lead to faster healing.
Another significant advance in spine surgery has been the use of robotics.
Robotic systems are now being used to assist surgeons in performing spinal procedures, allowing for greater precision and accuracy. Robotic systems use advanced imaging technology to create a 3D map of the patient’s spine, which allows the surgeon to plan the procedure more accurately. During the procedure, the robotic system guides our surgeon’s instruments to the precise location on the spine, reducing the risk of error.
One of the key benefits of robotic spine surgery is that it can be used to perform complex procedures that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to do with traditional methods. For example, robotic systems can be used to perform minimally invasive spinal fusion procedures, which involve fusing two or more vertebrae together to stabilize the spine. With robotic-assisted surgery, our surgeons can precisely position the implants used in the procedure, reducing the risk of complications and improving patient outcomes.
Overall, the advances in spinal surgery over the last 10 years have greatly improved patient outcomes and experience. Patients can now undergo complex spinal procedures with less pain, less scarring, and a shorter recovery time. With minimally invasive spine surgery and robotics, surgeons have the tools they need to perform procedures with greater precision and accuracy, leading to better outcomes for patients.
If you or a loved one are considering spinal surgery, it’s important to talk to your doctor about the latest techniques and technologies that are available. With advances in minimally invasive spine surgery and robotics, there are now more options than ever before for treating spinal conditions and improving patient outcomes.