3 Questions To Ask Your Surgeon About Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Is It Time For Surgery?

Back pain and back injuries are a common occurrence. So much so that millions of Americans see doctors for the issue every year. Almost always, the ailment comes down to an injury or condition with the spine. If non-surgical treatment fails, the doctor will open the discussion about minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS).

Why minimally invasive spine surgery?

The spine is made up of several bones, intervertebral discs, nerves, and the spinal cord. A range of issues could affect one or more of these parts. Common conditions include arthritis, herniated discs, or physical changes due to injury or wear and tear. Depending on the situation or degree of damage, the surgeon will recommend the best course of action. Before deciding on surgery, make sure to ask these 3 crucial questions for clarity.

1. What does minimally invasive surgery mean?

In the past, surgeons performed surgery using large incisions. This was necessary to move around muscles and tissue to access the operating site. Now with cameras and technology, that’s all changed. Minimally invasive surgery means that the surgeon uses small incisions and a snake-like tool called an endoscope. This scope has a high-powered camera attached, projecting a full view to the surgeon. Additional small tools will allow the surgeon to operate in another small incision. The process means improved accuracy, faster recovery, and operating times.

2. Are there any risks involved?

Surgery is usually the best option to fix a long-term issue. But that does not mean surgery is risk-free. Surgery on any part of the body has standard risks. These risks include bleeding, bruising, anesthesia reactions, and infection at the surgical site. There is also the possibility the surgery fails, needing an additional operation. Minimally invasive spinal surgery carries other rare but possible risks. The most common risks are nerve damage and blood clots. These risks are rare as both surgeons and technology have improved over the years.

3. What will happen after surgery?

All forms of spinal surgery need careful recovery. With minimally invasive surgery, there is an advantage of the outpatient recovery. That means the patient often can leave the same day. Make sure to have someone available to drive after surgery and provide primary care. Recovery requires a combination of rest, physical therapy, and medication. In most cases, the patient should fully recover within 3 months. However, the benefits of the procedure may kick in long afterward. Follow the doctor’s orders for a smooth, healthy recovery.

Take the next step

There is a range of minimally invasive spinal surgeries available. These range from fusions, disc replacement, or removal of bone. Now, in almost all cases, the surgeon will take a minimally invasive approach. That means smaller cuts, quicker recovery, and a reduced chance of failure. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as needed. That way, deciding on surgery becomes more comfortable and safer for everyone.


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