Spine surgery is serious, and because it’s a serious procedure, it is understandable that it is often approached with trepidation. There are many considerations that patients must think over if they’ve been diagnosed with a condition that requires surgery. For instance, what type of spine surgery is appropriate for the diagnosis? Will minimally invasive surgery provide the relief and answer to your situation? Let’s take a look at different approaches to spine surgery and what you can expect in terms of recovery from them.
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
Minimally invasive spine surgery differs from open spine surgery and is considered a safer approach, with less tissue trauma, less stitches, and a lower risk of infection. You can expect some trauma to nearby areas, but not as much as you would incur with a traditional spine surgery.
Minimally invasive surgery is often performed on an outpatient basis, although your doctor will determine if this is a good option for you based on the specific spine surgery you are getting done as well as your overall health. The recovery time is typically shorter with minimally invasive surgery than traditional surgery, and there’s less risk of complications. Because there’s a smaller incision, there is also less loss of blood and fewer complications at the surgery site and less postoperative pain.
Traditional Spine Surgery
Traditional spine surgery is also referred to as open spine surgery, which means the surgery site is completely opened for the surgeon to see and operate on. Traditional surgery has been around a lot longer than minimally invasive surgery. While minimally invasive procedures are more advanced and better for patients, some procedures cannot be performed with minimally invasive techniques. Therefore, some spine surgery procedures are performed in the traditional way.
Common Procedures for Spine Surgery
Spinal fusion is a common surgical procedure that connects the vertebrae of the spine together. This is accomplished with surgical screws, plates, and rods that work to decrease pressure on nearby nerves and strengthen the spine. Candidates who qualify for spinal fusion surgery are those diagnosed with a degenerative condition and are dealing with chronic pain.
Spinal decompression is usually recommended for patients for which non-surgical treatments have failed. Spinal decompression surgery addresses chronic pain and eliminates pressure that’s been placed on the spine.
Recovery from spine surgery depends on the procedure being performed. Traditional or open surgery generally requires a few months of recovery. Since there is significant trauma to the body, it can take a while for the wound and internal tissue to heal.
Minimally invasive procedures typically require a shorter recovery time. There is often less pain and downtime required with such procedures. However, even minimally invasive procedures require several weeks of rest, physical therapy, and adjustments to your typical routine and activities.
Spine Surgeons in New Jersey
The board-certified, fellowship-trained surgeons at Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey take a conservative approach when treating orthopedic conditions. If you have chronic back pain, we can diagnose your condition and provide the most appropriate treatment available, which may or may not include surgery.
Make an appointment today to discuss your treatment options. Call (973) 989-0888 or request an appointment online.