Dr. Kaixuan Liu with Atlantic Spine Center talks about this highly common...
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During a minimally invasive spine fusion procedure, the spine approached is dependent on the patient’s condition needs. The incision area may be posterior or lateral, and will be discussed with the patient beforehand. Under the guidance of x-rays; a needle, guiding wire, a dilator, and a small tube from 9 mm to 18 mm diameter is inserted through the muscles to the spine. The damaged disc is removed through the tube, under X-ray guidance and direct visualization. To make sure nerves are not harmed or irritated during the process, in some procedures like XLIF, neuro-monitoring (testing of the nerves) is conducted during the procedure to provide the surgeon with real-time information about the position of the nerves. Bone graft and a cage filled with bone graft are inserted to replace damaged disc and keep disc height. This cage together with the bone graft will allow the spine to fuse.
Sometimes, depending on the diagnosis of the condition, additional support is needed to hold the vertebrae in place during the surgery. In this case, the surgeon may also decide to put in additional implants, such as screws, plates or rods for added support.
Mini Spine Fusion Surgery is a “minimally invasive” surgery from which patients generally recover easily. The length of time the patient is required to stay under physician care varies from patient to patient. Many patients are able to go home in the same day and drive the next day.
Furthermore, many patients notice an improvement in their symptoms immediately after spinal fusion surgery. In other patients, symptoms go away gradually. Since the minimally invasive fusion surgery does not cut muscles and bones, but rather splits them, many patients are able to get up and walk around the night after they’ve had spinal fusion surgery. Local tenderness, however, is normal and should be expected.
Overall, the total recovery time is relatively short, and most patients are able to quickly return to their normal activities in a few weeks.
The Mini Spine Fusion procedure, like any other surgical procedure, has certain potential risks and complications associated with it. As with any surgical procedure, we will discuss all potential risks of the Interbody Fusion Surgery procedure before a decision is made.
*Statistics and information regarding mini spine fusion and traditional spine fusion surgery is based on average patient outcomes and does not represent all situations.
Before surgical spine treatment is considered, we will exhaust conservative, non-surgical spine treatment options first. Our advanced diagnostic and pain mapping techniques enable us to ensure precise diagnosis, which is one of the most important factors towards effective treatment of your pain.
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