New Advancements in Spine Surgery That All Patients Should Know
Jun 22, 2018
Every year, trends in medicine continue to advance. Everything from the machines used for imaging to the techniques used in surgery are changed, altered or improved almost on a daily basis. This is especially true for those in the spine and back realm. If you are dealing with back pain, it’s important to be up to date on what’s new in the world of spine treatments and surgery and ensure you are getting the best, and most recent, medical help.
Microsurgery is a form of minimally invasive techniques where you use portals. When dealing with nerve roots, the use of a microscope is often essential, and has been for years. Microsurgery is an extension of operating with a microscope, going a bit further to better treat the nerve roots and uses an operative microscope through the minimally accessed spine system to do the surgery. Microsurgery generally refers to the work being done immediately around the nerve roots using a microscope.
Robotics and Image Guidance
Robotics and image guidance are first used as a way for doctors to hone in their skills before working with their patients. A doctor may also use a robot or image guidance system to make a smaller incision and do it through a tubular portal. In short, it’s a new and different way to do minimally invasively surgery.
One of the biggest things doctors are learning now is that less is more. Less disruption to the body and support structures, meaning the posterior paraspinal muscles and the interspinous ligaments, is often better for the patient. Less disruption means doing a needed surgery, accomplishing the goal of that surgery and augmenting the body’s own stability structures without completely replacing them. The less is more approach is a great indication of how spine surgery will begin to change over time.
Telemedicine is a major advancement across all health platforms. Today, you can go to an internal medicine doctor on your phone app and they can pull a script into a local store. This is the basis of telemedicine. If a patient calls in and they have an issue or a problem, or they just need a visit, the doctor can sit at their computer and look at their wound on a smartphone app, talk to them about their symptoms, and if they’re doing really well, can say, “looks good”, and can avoid making them travel. It saves them a lot of money, and for people that don’t have the resources, it opens up additional access to care. It also, especially in a surgery like neurosurgery where it’s short staffed all over the country, may provide an ability to consult and weed out people who you’re just not going to be able to offer anything to before having them drive a distance.
Spot Welding goes hand in hand with the “less is more” theory mentioned above. For older populations that have big deformities, a doctor could do the big scoliosis correction or, instead, they can simply go in and fix the really bad levels using a unilateral technique or something similar and get rid of 50% of their pain without needing to be hospitalized or suffer through a lengthy recovery. Spot welding focuses on the spot that is bothersome, rather than the entire spine. But, as a whole, spot welding doesn’t necessarily mean less surgery. Instead, it refers to shrinking the size of those surgeries by approaching the level that’s really causing the most pain.
To find doctors in your area that incorporate these spinal advancements, contact Back Pain Centers of America today by calling 1-844-201-1308. The call is free and may be one of the best calls you make!
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