WEST ORANGE, NJ, June 23, 2021 / PRNewswire-PRWeb / – If you have chronic back or neck pain that has not responded to conservative measures, you may be wondering whether surgery is an option. But there are many myths about minimally invasive spinal surgery (MISS) that might otherwise deter you from this popular and beneficial surgical option, so Kaixuan Liu, MD, PhD, Founder and President of the Atlantic Spine Center.
In minimally invasive surgery, small tools called retractors are used to access the spine with incisions of just an inch or less. These are placed in the tiny incisions to gently push away soft tissue and remove bone or disc material that encounters spinal nerves. In contrast to so-called open surgery, which requires large incisions, a minimally invasive approach does not move, remove, or change large muscles, normal bone structures, or nerve bundles.
“Even if medication, physical therapy, or other non-surgical treatments are not enough to relieve long-standing back or neck pain, it can still be intimidating to consider a surgical solution,” said Dr. Liu who specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery. “That’s why it’s especially important to break the myths and know the truths about minimally invasive options.”
What are the most common myths about MISS? Dr. Liu sets out the top 5 and also explains the realities:
Myth # 1: Minimally invasive spine surgery is still experimental.
Truth: Far from it. MISS has been in use successfully since the 1990s, with constant technological progress only increasing its range. Highly technical, minimally invasive surgery requires special training from surgeons and operating room staff. In addition, the equipment needed for MISS procedures can be expensive, which means that some smaller hospitals cannot provide it. Ask your doctor if MISS is an option in your location.
Myth # 2: Few spinal disorders can be treated with minimally invasive surgery.
Truth: Since it began three decades ago, the use of MISS has expanded enormously for those whose back or neck pain persists for 6 to 12 months or more despite conservative treatments. It can treat conditions ranging from spinal canal stenosis (a narrowing of the spinal canal) to sciatica, herniated discs, and spondylolisthesis when a bony vertebra slips onto the underlying bone. “All of these conditions can be pinpointed with various diagnostic and imaging tests that surgeons can tell exactly where to get the best results,” says Dr. Liu.
Myth # 3: Even with minimally invasive spine surgery, a long recovery is necessary.
The truth: you will recover faster than you imagine – starting with the procedure itself, as it is usually performed on an outpatient basis. “Many people can stand up and walk straight away with minimal pain after minimally invasive spinal surgery, and most go home within hours,” says Dr. Liu. “You can usually get back to work within a week or two, and some people do all of their previous activities within 6 weeks.”
Myth # 4: If I am undergoing minimally invasive spine surgery, I will not need physiotherapy.
Truth: While MISS can rid us of many of the potential pitfalls of traditional surgery, patients still need to be willing to strive for the fullest possible recovery. This may include physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around the spine and improve flexibility, a therapy that is often introduced 2 to 6 weeks after surgery. “Whether or not physiotherapy is necessary depends on the individual circumstances of each patient,” explains Dr. Liu. “Many find that physical therapy speeds their overall recovery and makes them feel better even faster.”
Myth # 5: MISS has no advantages compared to open surgery.
Truth: While any type of surgery carries risks, minimally invasive spine surgery offers many advantages over traditional surgeries. Because the incisions are small and trauma to the surrounding tissues is minimized, with MISS you can expect less pain and blood loss and a much faster recovery. “There is also a lower risk of needing a blood transfusion and a better cosmetic outcome with a minimally invasive approach,” says Dr. Liu. “You are less likely to get infected and should recover much faster in the days and weeks after surgery than if you had a long-incision procedure.”
Atlantic Spine Center is a nationally recognized leader in endoscopic spine surgery with multiple locations in New Jersey and NYC. http://www.atlanticspinecenter.com, http://www.atlanticspinecenter.nyc
Kaixuan Liu, MD, is a certified physician from the Atlantic Spine Center. He is trained in minimally invasive spinal surgery.
Melissa chefec, MCPR, LLC, 2039686625, [email protected]
SOURCE Atlantic Spine Center