Information On Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Long Island Residents May Wish To Have

By Stephanie Thomas

Spine surgery has continued to undergo numerous improvements in a bid to make it both effective and safe. Some of the conditions that may require this form of intervention include spinal stenosis (narrowing), intervertebral disc prolapse, and body spurs causing compression of spinal nerves. Less invasive techniques are now preferred over the traditional more open methods. If they intend to undergo minimally invasive spine surgery long island residents need to understand a number of things first.

The first step is to have a proper diagnosis made. Not all forms of back pain would be subjected to surgery and so it is important to establish whether a particular case meets the criteria. Your doctor will ask you a few questions related to your condition and will also examine your back and limbs in a bid to establish the exact nature of your illness. Imaging studies such as the MRI and CT scan will also be needed in most cases.

It is important that one considers the merits and demerits of the various interventions before settling down on one of them. Your doctor should guide you through this. If you make a decision to have the operation, you need to prepare for it. Among the things that may be required is for one to stop the use of nicotine products and drugs that may interfere with the healing process (such as blood thinners).

The major difference between this approach and the traditional technique is that in the former, smaller incisions are used. The surgeon uses these incisions to insert their instruments and perform the procedure. The main forms of operations that may be performed are spinal fusion and decompression.

Spinal fusion is a technique that is employed when the vertebral column is unstable for one reason or the other. The instability may result in problems in walking or other symptoms such as excessive back pain. The idea here is to join together two or more adjacent vertebral bodies so as to minimize excessive movement between them.

Depending on the site of the problem and its magnitude, you may be put under regional or general anaesthesia. Regional anaesthesia is mostly used when the affected area is lower down the spine (such as the lumber or sacral regions). With this from of anaesthesia, you will be awake throughout but you will not feel the area of your waist downwards. General anaesthesia, on the other hand, means that one is put to sleep for the entire duration.

While this operation is fairly safe, it is not devoid of complications. The chances of getting these complications is, however, much lower than with the open technique. Pain is experienced by almost all candidates of the operation but the degree is variable. Fortunately, the pain is minimal and reduces progressively over time except in a few instances. Infections are also a possibility and have to be prevented by use of prophylactic antibiotics. Others include excessive bleeding and nerve injuries.

The time needed for recovery is largely dependent on the type of surgery that is done. On average, it is a lot shorter than what is seen with the open technique. Most patients are allowed home the same day or within two days. This is as compared to the traditional surgical operation in which the average is five days. Physical therapy is highly recommended as it expedites the healing process. Return to regular routine may take a few weeks or months.

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