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Spine Surgery Treatment Tips

Everything You Need To Know About Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery!

Dr. Sanjib Kumar Behera 85% (10 ratings)
MS - Orthopaedics, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, DNB - Orthopedics & Orthopedic Surgery
Orthopedist, Hyderabad
Everything You Need To Know About Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery!

When other treatments fail to provide relief, the last resort to treat spine problems is the spine surgery. Spine surgery is conventionally referred to as open surgery which indicates that the area that needs to be operated is opened with a long incision so that the surgeon is able to view and have access to the anatomy.

In the recent times, advances in the field of medical science have made it possible to treat back and neck conditions through minimally invasive surgical techniques that don’t involve an elaborate incision. Let us understand more about it.

How is minimally invasive spine surgery carried out?
Minimally invasive spine surgery fusions and decompression processes are performed by exploiting different approaches. The most commonly utilized technique involves the use of the tubular retractor. In this process, the surgeon makes a small incision and then inserts the retractor through the skin right into the spinal column. It leads to a tunnel to the accurate area where the problem persists in the spine. The functionality of tubular retractor lies in the fact that it helps in holding the muscle open throughout the procedure.

A number of particular processes have been designated for the minimally invasive spine surgery. Some of the most common options include spinal decompression, discectomy, and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion. Each of these processes is different and only an expert in this arena can determine what’s suitable for you.

Minimally invasive spine surgery is also called less invasive spine surgery where surgeons make use of special instruments. One of the most compelling drawbacks of open surgery is that the pulling of the muscle can lead to damage to both the muscle and the tissues in close vicinity. On the other hand, minimally invasive spine surgery allows the surgeon to see the precise location of the affected area. Besides, it also leads to smaller incisions, reduced bleeding and short stay in the healthcare facility.

Consulting an expert about the surgery:
It is very important on part of the patients to discuss the suitability of minimally invasive spine surgery with their doctors since it is not a good option for all patients. It is generally suggested for patients having spinal tumours, spinal instability, spinal infections, vertebral compression fractures, lumbar spinal stenosis and spinal deformities like scoliosis.

When you know that you will have to undergo the surgery, it pays to gather information about the surgery and what you may expect from the recovery process. The most commendable benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery include better cosmetic results owing to lesser skin incisions and reduced dependence on the medications. Moreover, it is performed as an outpatient procedure and it makes use of local anaesthesia only. Thus, there is also a reduced chance of suffering from an adverse reaction to general anaesthesia.

So, depending on the pros and cons and depending on the individual condition, your doctor will decide on the course of action. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4381 people found this helpful

What To Do Before And After Spine Surgery?

Dr. Rakesh Kumar 92% (130 ratings)
MS - Orthopaedics, MBBS
Orthopedist, Delhi
What To Do Before And After Spine Surgery?

Spinal surgery becomes inevitable when back pain cannot be managed with medications and/or exercise. This is a major decision and requires planning for many things before, during, and after the surgery.

Before a spinal surgery- This preparation will help in smooth recovery, especially if you do not have a full-time caretaker.

  1. Discontinue pain killers: Discontinue pain killers at least 10 to 14 days before surgery. These are blood thinners and can prolong bleeding during the surgery.

  2. Prepare for blood loss: Most people experience some blood loss, but not excessive.

  3. Use a toilet seat raiser: Sitting and getting up from the toilet seat may be difficult. The seat raiser is used to increase the height, making this movement easy.

  4. Enable easy access to common items: Before heading for the surgery, keep things which are commonly used within easy reach. This will help reduce movement and avoid searching (especially if someone else is going to be doing it).

  5. Stock it up: Cooking may not be feasible during the initial postop period, and so it is advisable to stock up food items (ready to eats, fruits, soups, etc.) which will come in handy.

  6. Slip-ons: Bending down and tying shoes may not be easy, so slip-ons can be used.

  7. Caregiving: It is always advisable to have someone stay over with you during the initial postop days. They could help with regular household chores, cooking, etc.

  8. Lifestyle changes: Ensure you eat well in the days before surgery, quit smoking, quit/use moderate amounts of alcohol, and exercise as advised by your surgeon.

After Surgery- Post surgery, there will be some pain and limitation of movement. It is important to understand that adherence to post-op instructions will improve the success rate of the surgery. Also, recovery time for spine surgery is slightly longer and affects overall quality of life, so psychological preparation is required.

  1. Postoperative medications: These will be given to control infection and pain in the immediate postop period, and should be taken without fail

  2. Rehab: The surgeon will recommend physical therapy and rehab exercises which need to be followed. Complete recovery may take anywhere between 3 to 12 months. During this time, care should be taken to avoid repeat injury.

  3. Support: Adequate back support should be provided using lumbar support and ergonomic chairs, and the right posture should be maintained. Ensure there is no undue strain on the back muscles.

  4. Weight management: With excess weight, there is too much strain on the lower disks. Therefore, weight should be managed to reduce this strain.

  5. Smoking and alcohol should be completely stopped, as healing can be hampered.

With some preparation, spinal surgery can be sailed through smoothly. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2407 people found this helpful

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery - Why Should You Go For It?

Dr. Madhu Thumu 89% (40 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedist, Hyderabad
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery - Why Should You Go For It?

The spine plays a very crucial role, both from a person’s movement and sensation point of view. It carries the nervous supply for a lot of internal organs and the lower body. By virtue of its structure, it also helps in movement through the disks. Due to various reasons, spinal injury is common, causing pain along the back, lower extremities, neck etc.

Medicines and exercise are the first line of treatment for most spinal injuries. The issue, however, is that these only provide relief from the pain and the medicines, but do not actually ‘rectify’ the underlying problem. Whether it is a herniated disk or a pinched nerve, the medicines and exercise can relieve the symptoms, but the disk continues to be herniated and the nerve continues to be pinched. Definite treatment is in the form of surgery, and with recent advancements in the field of spinal surgery, there are minimally invasive surgical options, which provide complete cure with minimal recovery time. Some of the benefits of this are listed below-

  1. Smaller incision compared to traditional surgical procedures, where only the injured area is accessed

  2. The surrounding tissues are untouched, unless they are injured and require repair

  3. Lesser bleeding compared to earlier techniques

  4. Lesser painful procedure

  5. Reduced hospitalization period

  6. Quicker recovery and return to normal activities

The question, however, is whether this is indicated in everybody. A detailed discussion with your surgeon keeping the below points in mind will help identify the answer for this. The main driver should be the answer to the question – will the surgery be able to effectively relieve you of the pain and symptoms? Additionally, the following factors help in getting better results out of a minimally invasive spinal surgery.

  1. Presence of symptoms relating to nerve compression, including pain from the spine down the leg.

  2. Recent onset of symptoms, with pain starting days to months before seeing the doctor. This indicates the condition is relatively new and so damage is minimal, indicating favorable outcome. Chronic pain conditions take slightly longer time compared to recent injuries.

  3. People with active lifestyle who engage in regular physical exercise are likely to have better benefits from the minimally invasive procedure.

  4. Smoking reduces blood flow to the spine, leading to disk degeneration and weakening of bones. Healing is highly slowed down and recovery is overall delayed.

  5. Excessive weight puts strain on the back, and so healing can be delayed or badly affected with more complications. It is not a contraindication, but be prepared for a longer recovery period.

Talk to your doctor keeping these points in mind, and you can bid farewell to your back pain forever. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3599 people found this helpful

Spinal Problems In Children!

Dr. Shilpa Chawla 84% (18 ratings)
BSc - Home Science, Diploma In Health & Nutrition, MSc - Dietitics/Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Delhi
Spinal Problems In Children!

Neck and back problems are frequently observed in children. It should be thoroughly investigated to block any possible disorder related to the spine. Problems are generally detected by a specialist. Age plays a crucial factor here. Spine problems can be divided as per age of the kid. Some common disorders faced by the children of age bracket 1-2 are as follows:

  1. Spine problems among infants: Infants can face problems related to the spine due to poor feeding and irritation. One common problem among many new-born is the subluxation of the spinal vertebrae.
  2. The process of birth: Many times a fixation and misalignment of the of the upper cervices occurs during the process of traction, rotation and lateral fixation of normal birth. Even in C-section deliveries, the trauma of the birth process can result in spine related problem.
  3. Falls: Falls are a common cause of spinal problems in kids. Babies in the age group of 1-2 can experience a fall while trying to walk, rolling off the bed, negotiating with an obstacle etc. It is, therefore, safe to consult a doctor regularly to ensure the safety of the babies’ spine.

Congenital Anomalies:
Congenital anomalies are the result of neurological deficits or physical deformity. This can be detected by a doctor after a baby is born. Some of the common problems include the following:

  1. Malformation of the spinal cord- This is a condition where the spinal cord tethers. This is a condition where the spinal cord is not able to grow because of the thickening of the filum terminal.
  2. Spina bifida: This condition results from a condition where the closure of spinal laminae gets limited. This condition can result in symptoms such as paralysis, sensory changes etc. This condition can be easily identified by doctors. It presents with a tuft of hair over the spine.
  3. Klippel: Feil syndrome: Fusion of several vertebrae results in this condition. The flexibility of the neck gets severely restricted because of this disorder. A person with a disorder such as this presents symptoms such as low hairline, short neck and limited range of motion.
  4. Malignancy: A tumour in the spinal cord may present with symptoms such as scoliosis, kyphosis, and torticollis. This disease is widely detected within the first four years of a person’s life.
  5. Meningitis: This is a condition which is caused by a bacteria known as staph aureus. Some common symptoms include drowsiness, fever, vomiting drowsiness, tense anterior fontanel, an extension of the neck and head etc.
  6. Diskitis: This is an infection related to the intervertebral disk. It is mostly witnessed in young children along the lines of the lumbar spine. A kid with this condition may find it difficult to stand, back pain and mild fever at all times.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4700 people found this helpful

Spine Surgery - Important Things You Need To Discuss With Your Doctor!

Dr. Apoorva Pandey 91% (19 ratings)
MS-General Surgery, Mch-Neurosurgery
Neurosurgeon, Bhopal
Spine Surgery - Important Things You Need To Discuss With Your Doctor!

Spine surgeries are complicated and have serious repercussions if the procedure doesn’t go as planned. Probing your doctor is therefore very critical to ensure a safe operation and early post-op recovery. Questions can range from the type of treatment chosen for speedy recovery to side effects. Here is a list of questions that you need to ask your spine surgeon:

1. Why is the surgery recommended?
Typically, there could be more than one treatment option for a particular problem. Your doctor should be able to tell you very precisely as to why the surgery is recommended and how it is going to address the problem.

2. Is there any non-surgical option?
Many spine related issues can be treated with medicines and physiotherapy. Ask your doctor if such options exist.

3. Explain the surgical procedure in detail
Your doctor should explain the whole surgical procedure, explaining the minute details and help will help you to understand the implications.

4. What is the duration of the surgery?
Spine surgeries do not take more than 2 hours. It, however, depends on the procedure that is being performed.

5. How will the surgery address the pain?
It is important to know the source of the pain. Exploratory surgeries are not performed on the spine. Ask your doctor how he intends to address the pain through the surgery.

6. What are the risks involved?
Risks and side effects vary from patient to patient. For instance, a person with obesity, spondylitis and smoking has greater chances of complications associated with the operation.

7. Will the doctor perform the whole procedure or he will use practicing surgeons and intern for the job?
Many senior surgeons use interns and junior surgeons to perform a minor procedure. Get a clear understanding of the role of the doctor and his assistants. It is a good idea to know the background if the surgical team who is going to perform the procedure.

8. What is the success rate of the doctor for the procedure he is going to perform?
A successful spine surgeon should be able to give you valid data on his/her success rate and the overall success rate of surgeons all across the country.

9. How many days do you need to spend in hospital?
Your hospital stay is directly related to your insurance. It is essential to get a clear picture on the same.

10. Whether a back brace is necessary after surgery?
Limiting the spine movement speed the process of healing. Most Doctors suggest braces after a spine surgery.

11. What is the time required for recovery?
The recovery greatly varies from patient to patient. What you should ask your Doctor is the expected time required for you to join your job/school.

12. Will there be any physical limitation after the operations?
Many spine surgeries require you to refrain from strenuous jobs for a while. For instance, certain surgeries require you to stay away from driving for a while. Address all these apprehensions from your doctor.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

1791 people found this helpful

Spine Surgery - Questions You Need To Ask Your Doctor!

Dr. Savitr Sastri 92% (79 ratings)
MS - General Surgery, MBBS, MCh - Neuro Surgery
Neurosurgeon, Hyderabad
Spine Surgery - Questions You Need To Ask Your Doctor!

Spine surgeries are complicated and have serious repercussions if the procedure doesn’t go as planned. Probing your doctor is therefore very critical to ensure a safe operation and early post-op recovery. Questions can range from the type of treatment chosen for speedy recovery to side effects. Here is a list of questions that you need to ask your spine surgeon:

1. Why is the surgery recommended?
Typically, there could be more than one treatment option for a particular problem. Your doctor should be able to tell you very precisely as to why the surgery is recommended and how it is going to address the problem.

2. Is there any non-surgical option?
Many spine related issues can be treated with medicines and physiotherapy. Ask your doctor if such options exist.

3. Explain the surgical procedure in detail
Your doctor should explain the whole surgical procedure, explaining the minute details and help will help you to understand the implications.

4. What is the duration of the surgery?
Spine surgeries do not take more than 2 hours. It, however, depends on the procedure that is being performed.

5. How will the surgery address the pain?
It is important to know the source of the pain. Exploratory surgeries are not performed on the spine. Ask your doctor how he intends to address the pain through the surgery.

6. What are the risks involved?
Risks and side effects vary from patient to patient. For instance, a person with obesity, spondylitis and smoking has greater chances of complications associated with the operation.

7. Will the doctor perform the whole procedure or he will use practicing surgeons and intern for the job?
Many senior surgeons use interns and junior surgeons to perform a minor procedure. Get a clear understanding of the role of the doctor and his assistants. It is a good idea to know the background if the surgical team who is going to perform the procedure.

8. What is the success rate of the doctor for the procedure he is going to perform?
A successful spine surgeon should be able to give you valid data on his/her success rate and the overall success rate of surgeons all across the country.

9. How many days do you need to spend in hospital?
Your hospital stay is directly related to your insurance. It is essential to get a clear picture on the same.

10. Whether a back brace is necessary after surgery?
Limiting the spine movement speed the process of healing. Most Doctors suggest braces after a spine surgery.

11. What is the time required for recovery?
The recovery greatly varies from patient to patient. What you should ask your Doctor is the expected time required for you to join your job/school.

12. Will there be any physical limitation after the operations?
Many spine surgeries require you to refrain from strenuous jobs for a while. For instance, certain surgeries require you to stay away from driving for a while. Address all these apprehensions from your doctor.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3261 people found this helpful

Important Questions You Must Ask Your Spine Surgeon!

Dr. Parimal Tripathi 88% (121 ratings)
FRCS - Neurosurgery(UK), M.Ch - Neuro Surgery, MS - General Surgery, MBBS
Neurosurgeon, Ahmedabad
Important Questions You Must Ask Your Spine Surgeon!

Spine surgeries are complicated and have serious repercussions if the procedure doesn’t go as planned. Probing your doctor is therefore very critical to ensure a safe operation and early post-op recovery. Questions can range from the type of treatment chosen for speedy recovery to side effects. Here is a list of questions that you need to ask your spine surgeon:

1. Why is the surgery recommended?
Typically, there could be more than one treatment option for a particular problem. Your doctor should be able to tell you very precisely as to why the surgery is recommended and how it is going to address the problem.

2. Is there any non-surgical option?
Many spine related issues can be treated with medicines and physiotherapy. Ask your doctor if such options exist.

3. Explain the surgical procedure in detail
Your doctor should explain the whole surgical procedure, explaining the minute details and help will help you to understand the implications.

4. What is the duration of the surgery?
Spine surgeries do not take more than 2 hours. It, however, depends on the procedure that is being performed.

5. How will the surgery address the pain?
It is important to know the source of the pain. Exploratory surgeries are not performed on the spine. Ask your doctor how he intends to address the pain through the surgery.

6. What are the risks involved?
Risks and side effects vary from patient to patient. For instance, a person with obesity, spondylitis and smoking has greater chances of complications associated with the operation.

7. Will the doctor perform the whole procedure or he will use practicing surgeons and intern for the job?
Many senior surgeons use interns and junior surgeons to perform a minor procedure. Get a clear understanding of the role of the doctor and his assistants. It is a good idea to know the background if the surgical team who is going to perform the procedure.

8. What is the success rate of the doctor for the procedure he is going to perform?
A successful spine surgeon should be able to give you valid data on his/her success rate and the overall success rate of surgeons all across the country.

9. How many days do you need to spend in hospital?
Your hospital stay is directly related to your insurance. It is essential to get a clear picture on the same.

10. Whether a back brace is necessary after surgery?
Limiting the spine movement speed the process of healing. Most Doctors suggest braces after a spine surgery.

11. What is the time required for recovery?
The recovery greatly varies from patient to patient. What you should ask your Doctor is the expected time required for you to join your job/school.

12. Will there be any physical limitation after the operations?
Many spine surgeries require you to refrain from strenuous jobs for a while. For instance, certain surgeries require you to stay away from driving for a while. Address all these apprehensions from your doctor.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2122 people found this helpful

6 Things to Know About Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery!

MBBS, MS - General Surgery, MCh - Neurosurgery
Neurosurgeon, Guwahati
6 Things to Know About Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery!

The spine plays a very crucial role, both from a person’s movement and sensation point of view. It carries the nervous supply for a lot of internal organs and the lower body. By virtue of its structure, it also helps in movement through the disks. Due to various reasons, spinal injury is common, causing pain along the back, lower extremities, neck etc.

Medicines and exercise are the first line of treatment for most spinal injuries. The issue, however, is that these only provide relief from the pain and the medicines, but do not actually ‘rectify’ the underlying problem. Whether it is a herniated disk or a pinched nerve, the medicines and exercise can relieve the symptoms, but the disk continues to be herniated and the nerve continues to be pinched. Definite treatment is in the form of surgery, and with recent advancements in the field of spinal surgery, there are minimally invasive surgical options, which provide complete cure with minimal recovery time. Some of the benefits of this are listed below-

  1. Smaller incision compared to traditional surgical procedures, where only the injured area is accessed

  2. The surrounding tissues are untouched, unless they are injured and require repair

  3. Lesser bleeding compared to earlier techniques

  4. Lesser painful procedure

  5. Reduced hospitalization period

  6. Quicker recovery and return to normal activities

The question, however, is whether this is indicated in everybody. A detailed discussion with your surgeon keeping the below points in mind will help identify the answer for this. The main driver should be the answer to the question – will the surgery be able to effectively relieve you of the pain and symptoms? Additionally, the following factors help in getting better results out of a minimally invasive spinal surgery.

  1. Presence of symptoms relating to nerve compression, including pain from the spine down the leg.

  2. Recent onset of symptoms, with pain starting days to months before seeing the doctor. This indicates the condition is relatively new and so damage is minimal, indicating favorable outcome. Chronic pain conditions take slightly longer time compared to recent injuries.

  3. People with active lifestyle who engage in regular physical exercise are likely to have better benefits from the minimally invasive procedure.

  4. Smoking reduces blood flow to the spine, leading to disk degeneration and weakening of bones. Healing is highly slowed down and recovery is overall delayed.

  5. Excessive weight puts strain on the back, and so healing can be delayed or badly affected with more complications. It is not a contraindication, but be prepared for a longer recovery period.

Talk to your doctor keeping these points in mind, and you can bid farewell to your back pain forever. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Neurosurgeon.

1738 people found this helpful
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