With incredible advancements in medical technology, you now have more options to relieve back pain than ever before. Minimally invasive spine surgery offers effective treatment that relieves pressure and pain, proving a safer and quicker alternative to open-back surgery.
In this blog, we’ll cover:
- What is considered minimally invasive spine surgery?
- What are some of the different types of minimally invasive surgery?
- Who is a good candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery?
- What are the advantages of minimally invasive spine surgery?
- How long does it take to raecover from minimally invasive spine surgery?
- What is the success rate of minimally invasive spine surgery?
- What are TPC’s minimally-invasive spine treatments?
What is Considered Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?
Minimally invasive spine surgery targets the spinal column (the backbone) and spinal cord with endoscopic methods using small incisions to provide quick relief for varying back issues.
Unlike traditional open spine surgery, where your surgeon typically makes a 5 to 6-inch incision, minimally invasive spine surgery only requires an incision that’s ½ an inch long.
It also requires less downtime compared to traditional spine surgery; Due to the surgery being less invasive, you’ll be able to get home sooner and have a less painful and much quicker recovery.
Endoscopic spinal surgery is one of the more common names for minimally invasive surgeries for back pain. It is common to use procedures to treat torn or herniated discs in the spinal canal and relieve leg pain and chronic lower back pain.
These procedures can also create minimally invasive variants of otherwise traditional spine surgeries. For example, a lumbar laminectomy involves less post-recovery pain and blood loss than its traditional form.
What are Some of the Different Types of Minimally Invasive Surgery?
Spinal Stenosis Decompression
For those who suffer from spinal stenosis, this treatment offers relief from its consequent pain and pressure. Due to spinal column narrowing, there is increased pressure on the nerves inside. Spinal stenosis decompression releases this built-up pressure by opening the canals where the spinal cord and nerves pass through.
Compression Fracture Repairs
Herniated Disc Removal
A herniated disc causes compression on the nerve roots in the spinal column or on the actual spinal cord. This procedure removes the disc and gets rid of the painful pressure.
Artificial Disc Replacement
A damaged spinal disc causes pain, numbness, and weakness. Rather than just removing it, you can have it replaced with an artificial disc to restore your spinal cord’s strength, movement, and height.
Spinal Canal Enlargement
Spinal canal enlargement relieves pain and pressure in the back by enlarging the hole where a disc is “bulging” and causing pain to the nerve root. This procedure may also be used for untreated compression, causing the spinal cord to become thicker, resulting in painful pressure.
Spinal fusion was originally a traditional surgery but now offers a minimally invasive procedure. With two small incisions, the procedure can be accomplished much quicker while taking less time to recover. Its primary focus is treating scoliosis symptoms: spinal deformity and instability.
Who is a Good Candidate for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?
If you suffer from one or more of these back problems and haven’t found a nonsurgical treatment that’s helped, you might be a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery.
Candidates for minimally invasive spine surgery have:
- Single-level or two-level spinal stenosis
- A herniated disc
- Compressed spinal nerve roots
- Spine instability (excessive decompression)
- Spinal deformities
What are the Advantages of Minimally Invasive Surgery?
Minimally invasive spinal surgery offers a variety of advantages that make it a great option before considering traditional open-back surgery. Tools used in procedures like a tubular retractor gives surgeons access to areas of the spine without needing to make extra incisions in your muscle.
Advantages of minimally invasive spine surgery include:
- Small incisions; most incisions will be no larger than the size of a ballpoint pen or ½ an inch.
- Shorter length procedures and hospital stay
- Cheaper than traditional options; less equipment and surgery time equals a smaller bill
- Faster recovery time; full recovery usually takes 4-6 weeks
- Less painful recovery and damage to muscles
- Less downtime and physical therapy
- Less long and short-term health risks; due to the procedure making smaller incisions and not causing great ruptures to the muscle tissue, it offers fewer risk factors
How Long Does it Take to Recover from Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?
Individuals who undergo minimally invasive spine surgery commonly return to regular activities and daily life within six weeks post-operation. Recovery time varies from patient to patient, but the general full recovery is within this six-week range. In comparison, invasive spine surgery can take up to three to four months (12-16 weeks) for a full recovery.
What is the Success Rate of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?
Patient feedback, medical studies, and personal testimonies have provided evidence of a high success rate for minimally invasive spine surgery. Below are several pieces reflecting the overall positive response.
A Feedback report from the University of Utah found that approximately 80 to 90 percent of patients experienced less pain and better mobility after minimally invasive spine surgery.
Likewise, a National Library of Medicine study found that minimally invasive lumbar spine surgery is safe and highly effective in the elderly population.
According to the Newport Orthopedic Institute, out of 22 young athletes undergoing minimally invasive fusions for lumbar spondylolisthesis, 82% returned to active participation in football, soccer, cricket, and golf.
A summary of the SPORT study (Spinal Outcomes Research Trial) performed by the North American Spine Society showed that between 85% and 100% of athletes could return to their pre-surgery level in a professional sport after a minimally invasive lumbar discectomy.
TPC’s Minimally-Invasive Spine Treatments
TPC Spine Decompress
Our TPC Spine Decompress is an innovative, minimally invasive spinal decompression procedure for spinal stenosis secondary to ligamentum flavum hypertrophy. It offers relief from the symptoms of spinal stenosis, including numbness, sciatica, back pain, and experiencing weakness in the feet or legs.
TPC Spine Stim
Our TPC Spine Stim (spinal cord stimulation) is a minimally invasive spine solution of spinal cord stimulation for conditions related to chronic refractory pain that have failed conservative therapies. Some conditions include migraine and tension headaches, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, degenerative disc disease, and central pain syndrome.
TPC Spine Lift
TPC Spine Lift is a minimally invasive spinal decompression solution for conditions related to spinal stenosis with neurogenic claudication (pseudo-claudication).
The procedure relieves pain from pressure on the spinal nerves caused by stenosis. Symptoms include numbness, tingling, or weakness in limbs, problems walking or balancing, neck pain, and bowel or bladder problems.
Our TPC Disc (endoscopic discectomy) is a minimally invasive surgical solution for patients with discogenic pain. Discogenic pain originates from a damaged vertebral disc, causing pain in the lower back and sensations of pins and needles, and numbness.
Likewise, TPC Disc can help with pain management in other parts of the body caused by discogenic pain, such as muscle spasms in the neck or arms and pain in the thighs or buttocks, particularly when sitting down.
TPC Spine Fuse
Our TPC Spine Fuse is a minimally invasive spinal fusion solution for patients with conditions of spinal degeneration related to stenosis and spondylolisthesis.
Spinal degeneration due to stenosis causes pressure on the spinal cord, pressing against the nerves within the spine. This leads to pain and numbness, making daily living and activities difficult.
Similarly, spondylolisthesis creates instability in the spine, causing painful movement of the vertebrae.
TPC Spine Fuse offers an innovative and minimally invasive solution to ongoing spinal pain.
TPC Nerve Stim
Our TPC Nerve Stim (peripheral nerve stimulation) is a nerve stimulation for conditions related to refractory chronic pain that have failed conservative therapies. Some conditions include migraine and tension headaches, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, degenerative disc disease, and central pain syndrome.
TPC Nerve Stim provides pain relief from these conditions by reducing pain signals that travel from the spinal cord to the brain.