Am I a Candidate for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

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:

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.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Understanding the 5 Main Causes of Sciatica

Sciatica affects 40% of adults at least once in their lifetime, and for many, it turns into a chronic and often debilitating condition. Though sciatica has numerous causes, they all lead to one problem: a pinched sciatic nerve.

Determining Your Best Treatment for Glioblastoma

Glioblastoma is a cancerous brain tumor that rapidly infiltrates the surrounding tissues. It’s essential to seek prompt medical attention and make quick treatment decisions. Here, our doctor shares common glioblastoma warning signs and treatments.

When Should I Consider Surgery for Chronic Back Pain?

If you have chronic back pain, chances are you’ll reach a time when the pain gets so severe you wonder if you should consider surgery. Here are three signs that surgery to repair the root cause is the best way to relieve your pain.

Tips to Prevent Spinal Osteoarthritis

Nagging low back pain could arise from several possible causes, but one of the most common is spinal osteoarthritis. The key to preventing this painful condition is following a healthy lifestyle throughout your adult life.