Minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) has many advantages over traditional “open” surgical techniques. Benefits to the patient include a smaller incision, reduced blood loss, less soft tissue damage, less post-operative pain, and a faster recovery. Not every patient is a good candidate for MISS, and some conditions are better treated with traditional surgical methods. However, Atlanta Brain and Spine Care offers the following minimally invasive spinal procedures that we feel are scientifically proven and of benefit to our patients.
A discectomy involves the removal of a herniated disc. The discs are located between each of the vertebrae and cushion the spine. When a disc herniates, the soft inner core is pushed out through a tear or rupture in the outer wall. This causes the disc to press on the spinal nerves, resulting in severe back pain and weakness, tingling, or numbness in the extremities.
Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF)
This low back surgery fuses together the vertebrae above and below a disc that has been removed. This provides stability to unstable vertebrae and stops their painful movement. An anterior surgical approach is from the front, through the abdomen. The procedure can be done with or without placing screws in the spine.
Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF)
This procedure is similar to ALIF, except that the approach is from the back of the spine. We developed the retractor system used in this technique. The surgeon may prefer one procedure over the other, depending on which side has the most damage. Posterior lumbar interbody fusion is often preferred when treating spondylolisthesis and adult scoliosis.
Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty
These procedures are used to treat painful spinal compression fractures when more conservative treatments have been ineffective. Both surgeries involve injecting orthopedic cement into an affected vertebrae to strengthen it and provide pain relief. Many patients feel significant pain relief following these procedures and are able to regain their mobility.
Pedicle screws are sometimes placed to give added support and strength to spinal fusions as they heal. They are most often used in the lumbar spine.
Minimally invasive spine surgery techniques provide the same results as traditional surgical methods, but with many advantages for the patient. The expert neurosurgeons at Atlanta Brain and Spine Care are trained in cutting edge techniques and recommend the best surgical and non-surgical treatments based on patient needs. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.