No one hopes they’ll need spine surgery, but sometimes it’s your best choice for repairing the underlying problem, restoring function, and finally finding some relief from the pain. When it’s time to make that decision, it helps to know that minimally invasive spine surgery is a good option for many people.
Why do you want minimally invasive surgery? Because that means smaller incisions, keeping your muscles intact, and causing minimal trauma with less bleeding. As a result, you have less postoperative pain and you recover faster.
By comparison, open surgery uses a long incision to expose the spine, cuts through the muscle, and causes significant trauma. That means you stay in the hospital longer and recover much more slowly.
Open surgery is still needed for some people. But Richard B. Kim, MD, offers such exceptional skill and expertise in minimally invasive surgery that it’s an option for most of our patients.
You may be a good candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery if you fall under any of the descriptions below.
Conservative therapies have failed
Back surgery is seldom considered before you first try all the appropriate nonsurgical treatments for your spine condition. For most patients, the first line of treatment includes activity modification and physical therapy.
We may also prescribe medications to relieve the pain or relax your muscles. And in some cases, your condition may improve with epidural steroid injections to reduce painful inflammation.
If you still have pain and limited movement despite conservative therapies, it may be time to talk about minimally invasive spine surgery.
Minimally invasive surgery is appropriate for your spine condition
The good news is that nearly all spine conditions that once required open surgery can now be done using minimally invasive techniques.
These are the conditions we most often treat using minimally invasive spine surgery:
- Herniated disc
- Degenerative disc disease
- Spinal stenosis
- Spine tumors
- Slipped vertebrae
- Compression fractures
- Pinched nerves
- Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
Dr. Kim has extensive experience performing numerous minimally invasive procedures to repair these conditions. You may need a spinal fusion, sacroiliac joint fusion, artificial disc replacement, microdiscectomy, or laminectomy, to give you a few examples.
Personal health concerns don’t limit your options
Though we can use minimally invasive surgical techniques for most conditions, not everyone is a good candidate. Your overall health, age, personal preferences, and other health issues factor into the decision about which type of surgery is best for you.
The extent and severity of your spinal condition may require open surgery. You may not be able to have minimally invasive spine surgery if you have extensive epidural scarring, an active infection, or severe osteoporosis.
Because individual variables influence the decision, we spend plenty of time talking with you about your condition, explaining the surgical procedures, and the pros and cons of open versus minimally invasive surgery. You will have all the information you need to make the best decision for your long-term health.
If you have questions about your back pain, treatment options, or minimally invasive spine surgery, don’t wait to schedule an appointment. Call our office to make an appointment with Dr. Kim or use the online booking system today.