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Every year, tons of people are crippled with spine disabilities, which cause pain and serious discomfort. While there are many non-invasive treatment methods, such as physical therapy and medication, those suffering from severe spine disabilities may need to consider more advanced surgical treatments.
With the latest innovations in surgical techniques, many people with spine disabilities can lead normal, active lives. One of the most promising techniques is minimally Invasive MicroTube™ Spine Surgery. This procedure is much less invasive than traditional spine surgery and has a much shorter recovery time.
In this post, we’ll discuss how patients can overcome spine disabilities with the help of advanced surgical techniques.
Understanding Spine Disabilities: Types, Causes, and Symptoms
Our spine is a remarkable structure. It supports the body, allows us to move, and comprises 33 bones called vertebrae. The vertebrae are interconnected by ligaments and muscles, enabling our spine to bend and twist.
There are many various types of spine disabilities, and each with its own unique set of symptoms. Some of the most common spine disabilities include:
Herniated disc: When the disc between the two vertebrae ruptures or bulges, it leads to a condition known as a herniated disc. This can result in the compression of the nerves or spinal cord, leading to discomfort, numbness, and tingling sensation on the back, neck, arms, and even legs.
Spinal stenosis: This condition is characterized by the narrowing of the spinal canal, exerting pressure on the nerves or spinal cord. The pressure can bring discomfort, mumbling, and other symptoms manifested in herniated discs.
Scoliosis: In scoliosis, the spine curves due to various reasons such as genetics, injury, or poor posture. It can lead to pain, fatigue, and visible change in appearance.
Spinal cord injury: A spinal cord injury occurs when the spinal cord is damaged, usually by a sudden blow to the back. It results in many symptoms, including paralysis, numbness, and tingling.
The reasons and factors contributing to spine disabilities differ based on the type and severity of the condition. Some common causes and risk factors include aging, injury, overuse, obesity, smoking, genetics, inflammation, infection, or cancer.
Furthermore, their symptoms can also depend on the type and location of the condition. Some common symptoms include pain, limited mobility, loss of sensation, challenges with walking or maintaining an upright position, respiratory or swallowing issues, or alterations in bowel or bladder functionality.
Evolution of Surgical Techniques
Surgical techniques for treating spine disabilities have evolved significantly over the years. In the past, traditional open surgery was the only option for patients with spinal problems. However, this method had several drawbacks, such as larger incisions, more blood loss, higher risk of infection, and longer recovery times.
With the advancement of technology and medical knowledge, minimally invasive techniques have emerged as a better alternative for spine surgery. These techniques use smaller incisions, specialized instruments, and advanced imaging to access the spine with minimal damage to the surrounding tissues. As a result, patients can benefit from reduced scarring, less pain, lower complication rates, and faster recovery.
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgeries
Minimally invasive spine surgeries use smaller incisions and cause less tissue disruption than traditional open surgery. These back surgery types offer several benefits, like reduced tissue damage, less pain after surgery, and faster recovery to normal activities. Some of the common minimally invasive spine surgeries are:
Microdiscectomy: In this procedure, a herniated disc that exerts pressure on a nerve root or spinal cord is surgically removed. In accessing the spine, a small incision is made in the back, and a tubular retractor is inserted, creating a tunnel. Using specialized instruments, the surgeon removes the disc fragment through the tube.
Spinal fusion: This back surgery type joins two or more vertebrae to stabilize the spine and prevent abnormal motion that causes pain. Creating a tunnel involves a small incision in the back or side to create a tunnel in the spine. Afterward, the surgeon uses rods, screws, and bone grafts to fuse the vertebrae through the tube.
Artificial disc replacement: In this procedure, a damaged disc is replaced with an artificial one that functions like a natural disc. A small incision is made in the abdomen or neck, and an endoscope is used to see the spine. The surgeon performs the disc replacement through the endoscope.
MicroTube™ Spine Surgery: MTSS is a newer, less invasive procedure that uses smaller incisions and specialized instruments to access the herniated disc. The surgeon then removes the herniated disc material using a microtube. The main advantage of MTSS is that it uses even smaller incisions than traditional microdiscectomy.
Benefits and Outcomes
Advanced surgical techniques for spine disabilities have revolutionized the field of spine surgery, offering patients better outcomes and quality of life.
These techniques include minimally invasive procedures, robotic assistance, vertebral body augmentation, and total disc replacement. They aim to achieve accurate and stable spine fixation while minimizing tissue damage, blood loss, and infection risk. Some of the benefits and positive outcomes of these techniques are:
Improved pain relief: Patients report a significant reduction in pain levels after surgery, as measured by the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). It allows them to reduce or eliminate their use of pain medications and improve their mental health.
Enhanced mobility: Most patients experience an increased range of motion and flexibility in their spine, as measured by the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI). It enables them to resume their daily activities and hobbies and enjoy a more active lifestyle.
Restoration of function: They can regain their normal spinal alignment and biomechanics, which improves their posture, balance, and stability. It also prevents further degeneration or complications in the spine or adjacent segments.
Success rates and patient satisfaction: Research indicates that these advanced surgical methods exhibit excellent outcomes in achieving fusion, rectifying deformities, and maintaining disc height. Furthermore, they demonstrate minimal complications and high levels of patient satisfaction, as evidenced by patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs).
The evolution of surgical techniques for treating spine disabilities has transformed the landscape of spinal surgery. From the limitations of traditional open surgery to the emergence of minimally invasive techniques, patients now have access to safer, more precise, and less invasive options.
The smaller incisions, reduced scarring, faster recovery times, and improved surgical outcomes associated with minimally invasive procedures have significantly enhanced the patient experience.
As these advancements continue to evolve, the future of spinal surgery holds promise for even more innovative techniques and improved quality of life for individuals with spine disabilities.