Surgery of any kind should never be taken lightly, but when it holds the potential of relieving treatment-resistant pain, this avenue may be the wisest choice. And thanks to ever-evolving surgical technology, the minimally invasive approach to spine surgery means that your road to pain-free movement is a lot smoother.
Here at Atlas Neurosurgery and Spine Center, under the expert direction of Dr. Abhishiek Sharma and Dr. Erik Curtis, our goal is to help our patients in Phoenix and Sun City West, Arizona, find relief from back and neck pain. While we always start out conservatively, if you want to explore how spine surgery can get you back to your active lifestyle, without pain, read on.
What exactly does minimally invasive mean?
Minimally invasive — these two words have revolutionized the way many surgeons approach a medical problem. Traditionally, surgeons needed to open your body with enough room for them to lay eyes on the problem and fix it.
With the minimally invasive approach, our surgeons only need to make very small incisions, through which they can either visualize through a microscope or thread a tiny camera and specialized instruments. The camera allows our surgeons a real-time, 3D view of the surgical site, which they can see on a monitor or through a microscope. Then they thread the specialized instruments through different incisions to do their work.
At Atlas Neurosurgery and Spine, we take this technology one step further, and we offer robot-assisted surgery, which translates the movements of our surgeons’ hands in very small spaces. It’s the perfect blend of human experience and the precision and accuracy of a robotic arm. Rest assured, our surgeon is at the controls the entire time, guiding the robotic arm.
The benefits of taking a minimally invasive approach to spine surgery are myriad, and include:
- Faster recovery time
- Less postoperative pain
- Reduced risk of infection
- Minimal collateral damage
- Better precision
- Less blood loss
The advantages of minimally invasive surgery even come down to less scarring.
What conditions may benefit from minimally invasive spine surgery?
There are many conditions that can cause pain along your spine, but because of its importance as the foundational structure for your entire body, the pain is only one side of the equation. You may also be severely limited in your ability to move around, preventing you from enjoying an active life.
We take all of these factors into consideration when we explore whether spine surgery is right for you. Each of our patients is different, with different goals, and we want to make sure that we come up with the best plan for your unique situation.
That said, there are some common issues across the board that may benefit from minimally invasive spine surgery, such as:
- Spinal cord compression
- Herniated discs
- Cervical radiculopathy
- Spinal stenosis
- Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL)
- Lumbar radiculopathy (sciatica)
Many of these conditions can be treated nonsurgically, but if your condition doesn’t improve, we may explore whether a surgical solution can bring you the relief you need.
If you’d like to learn more about your options in minimally invasive spine surgery, please contact one of our offices to set up an appointment.