These questions are meant as a starting point and do not replace the advice of your doctor. It is important that you consult with a board certified spine surgeon about your questions and concerns about minimally invasive spine surgery.
When should I consider spine surgery?
Surgery is always the last resort for treating conditions of the spine. If you have exhausted non-invasive treatment options without seeing improvement, or your condition is worsening, surgery might be the best option for you. Conditions such as spondylolisthesis, sciatica, herniated disc(s), degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, or degenerative scoliosis are often helped by minimally invasive spine surgery.
Will minimally invasive spine surgery help me?
Minimally invasive spine surgery is a rapidly expanding field and most surgeries can be performed without the need for a large open incision. Unfortunately some conditions still require open incisions, such as tumors, infections, or certain types of scoliosis.
Each treatment must be specific to the patient’s diagnosis and overall health. Dr. Spivak carefully evaluates each patient and determines the best course of treatment based on his or her condition and health background. To find out if you are a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery, make an appointment to see Dr. Spivak.
How long does it take to recover from minimally invasive spine surgery?
While recovery times vary from patient to patient, on average a patient can expect to begin feeling better in about half the time it would take a patient who underwent traditional spine surgery. Some patients have reported a significant decrease in pain less than a week after undergoing minimally invasive surgery. Since this type of surgery involves far less damage to the muscle and soft tissue, recovery is typically much faster it would be with traditional surgery. As each patient is different, your doctor will best be able to advise you on the extent of your recovery and whether physical therapy might be helpful in restoring you to full function.
How long will I be in the hospital after surgery?
Each patient and surgery is different, but many patients can return home the day of surgery. If a hospital stay is necessary, it is generally only for two to three days. Your surgeon will be able to tell you if a hospital stay will be needed.
Is minimally invasive spine surgery done with lasers?
Minimally invasive spine surgery is performed with many different surgical implements, including lasers, endoscopes, computer assisted navigation systems, and operating microscopes. This allows the procedure to be performed through a tiny opening instead of a large incision. The decision to use a specific technology is based on the needs of the patient.