Minimally Invasive Spine Fusion in Dallas: How It Works
Minimally invasive spine fusion in Dallas aims to achieve the same result as open surgery while reducing tissue damage and muscle dissection by accessing the spine through tiny incisions. Aside from being faster and safer than traditional open surgery, it also requires less recovery time.
The reduced trauma to soft tissues and muscles results in less blood loss, reduced pain, and risk of infections, as well as improved cosmetic results from small incisions. This procedure can be used to treat spinal tumors, degenerative disc disease, spinal infections, herniated disc, and lumbar spinal stenosis.
How Minimally Invasive Spine Fusion Works
Minimally invasive spine fusion is usually done with a tubular retractor. The surgeon creates a small incision and inserts the tubular retractor through the skin until it reaches the spinal column, creating a tunnel to the site where the real problem exists. The number of incisions depends on the surgery being done.
The muscles are held open and kept in place by the tubular retractor. The surgeon uses small instruments to access the spine. These instruments fit through the tubular retractor, so there’s no need to pull the muscle to the side.
Rods, screws, or any material required for fusion are inserted through the tubular retractor. The same thing applies to any disk material or bone that is removed from the area. It exits via the tubular retractor.
The surgeon can see where to insert the tubular retractor and put the incision through fluoroscopy, a method that shows an x-ray image of the spine on a screen in real-time. The surgeon usually uses a microscope to observe the vital spine structures during surgery. The retractor is removed after the procedure. The muscle returns to the original spot, which helps limit muscle damage.
Some surgeons are using other methods such as an endoscope to see the problem site in the spine. The procedure is usually performed using regional or general anesthesia. The wound area is cleaned with sterile water that contains antibiotics.
The skin can be closed with special surgical glue, so there’s no need for a bandage. It also causes minimal scarring. The subcutaneous and deep fascial layers are closed using a suture or two. Surgery usually lasts for two to three hours. It depends on the type of surgery being done.
A follow-up visit is required around twelve to fourteen days after the procedure. The doctor will inspect the incision and remove one suture.
Open Spine Fusion vs Minimally Invasive
In open spine fusion, the surgeon makes a 5″ to 6″ long incision and then pulls the patient’s muscle to the side to access the spine and remove damaged or diseased intervertebral disks or bone. This will also allow him to place bone graft materials such as screws or cages to support the spinal bones.
However, pulling the muscle can damage the surrounding soft tissues and the muscle. Muscle retraction or pulling helps the surgeon access the problem site, but it usually affects more parts than required. As such, there’s a higher risk of muscle injury and pain.
The recovery period will be longer as well. Larger incisions and damage may also increase the risk for infections and blood loss. Minimally invasive cervical spine fusion, on the other hand, helps the doctor see only the source of the problem in the spine.
Patients are also able to do light duties one to two weeks after the procedure, depending on the site of surgery. They don’t even need to bandage the wound area. Patients only need to keep the wound area dry and clean.
There are potential complications associated with Dallas minimally invasive spine fusion surgery. Some studies, however, show that the infection rate for such procedure is lower than open surgery. The surgeon will also discuss the risks with the patient before the procedure.
The potential risks of minimally invasive spine fusion surgery include bleeding, infection, and pain at the graft area. Antibiotics are given during, before, and after the procedure to reduce the risk of infection.
Nerve damage and blood clots may also occur, but these complications are extremely uncommon. Pseudarthrosis is another rare complication. It’s a condition where there’s not sufficient formation of bone and a solid spinal fusion is not achieved. Another surgery may be required to achieve a solid fusion.
Patients are usually allowed to go home in one to two days or several hours after the surgery. Postoperative pain is also believed to be less since minimally invasive procedures don’t disrupt soft tissues and muscles. Patients may still feel some discomfort, but their doctors may give them pain relievers.
Physical therapy may be recommended to speed up recovery and help the patient recover strength. During the healing period, the fused spine should be kept in the proper position. The patient will be given instructions on how to stand, walk, sit, reposition, and move properly.
What Percentage Spine Fusion Is Minimally Invasive?
Using innovative minimally invasive spine fusion techniques and operative nuances, MIS spinal fusion can now be done with two small incisions. Since there’s minimal tissue dissection, the patient can recover faster.
Minimally invasive spine transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion can be completed with less damage to tissue as well as less pain and time than open surgery. Many research studies show greater than 92% to 98% excellent results from minimally invasive spine fusion surgery.
We are dedicated to providing a better quality of life for everyone. Call us now at (972) 244-3491 to book an appointment or to learn more about minimally invasive spine fusion in Dallas.