Richard B. Kim, MD
Neurosurgery located in Newport Beach, CA & Orange, CA
Spine surgery used to involve opening up your back so the surgeon could view your spine directly. Whenever possible, board-certified neurosurgeon Richard Kim MD MS Inc uses minimally-invasive spine surgery techniques that reduce tissue damage and pain while accelerating healing and recovery. Dr. Kim has offices in Newport Beach, CA and Orange, CA. Call today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kim or book an appointment online.
Why would I need spine surgery?
Spine surgery might be necessary if you have back or neck pain, and other treatments aren't working. Surgery on your spine isn't something to take lightly, and whenever possible, Dr. Kim uses less invasive methods to treat the causes of back and neck pain.
For the majority of people, medication, physical therapy, and avoiding activities that cause back pain are effective in relieving the problem. Some people might require epidural steroid injections to reduce inflammation.
Only when these and other conservative methods fail to relieve your pain would you need to consider spine surgery.
What sort of spine surgery would I need?
Traditionally, surgeons made large incisions in your back to access your spine and perform surgery. Sometimes open surgery is the only way to perform certain procedures. However, in many cases, Dr. Kim is able to use minimally-invasive techniques.
Minimally-invasive spinal surgery causes significantly less damage to the muscles and other tissues in your back. Instead of a large incision that exposes your spine, Dr. Kim makes small incisions and uses tubular retractors to hold sections of muscle apart.
He can then pass specialized surgical instruments through the retractors to your spine to perform the procedure and remove damaged discs or other tissues. When the surgery is complete, the tubular retractors come out, and your muscles go back into place.
What advantages does minimally invasive spine surgery offer?
Minimally invasive spine surgery offers several advantages compared to open surgery, including:
- Significant reduction in pain
- Reduced blood loss
- Smaller wounds
- Considerably less tissue damage
- Lower risk of infection
- Faster wound healing
- Shorter hospital stay
- Minimal scarring
Dr. Kim specializes in performing minimally-invasive spine surgery for many common back problems like herniated discs and spinal stenosis, as well as more complex conditions.
What types of minimally invasive spine surgery are there?
The types of minimally invasive spine surgery that Dr. Kim specializes in include:
- Artificial disc replacement
- Cervical fusion surgery
- Lumbar microdiscectomy surgery
- Lumbar fusion surgery
- Sacroiliac joint fusion
- Spinal tumor removal
The type of spine surgery you need depends on the condition you have, what part of your spine it's affecting, and the extent of any damage. Your general health, age, and lifestyle can also influence the type of surgery Dr. Kim recommends.
Some people who have a herniated disc, for instance, may be suitable for artificial disc replacement, where Dr. Kim fits a prosthetic disc in between your vertebrae after removing the damaged disc. Others might be better off having a procedure to fuse the vertebrae either side of the disc after its removal.
To find out more about spine surgery and the minimally invasive spine surgery options available, call the office of Richard Kim MD MS Inc today or book an appointment online.