It’s not likely you’ll ever look forward to spinal surgery, and in the past, it was particularly troublesome when open surgery was the norm. Dr. Jon Gottlieb of the Minimally Invasive Spine Center of South Florida in South Miami, Florida, is a specialist in spinal surgery that uses advanced instruments and tiny incisions to perform procedures that previously left large scars. If you’re facing a spinal procedure, call the office or book a consultation online to explore all of your options.
One problem created by traditional surgical techniques was the need for an incision on your body large enough for the surgeons to manipulate surgical tools by hand. In many cases, the recovery time for the incisions made to gain access into your body took longer than for the procedure itself. Cutting through muscle and other soft tissue causes damage beyond that of the original injury.
Minimally invasive surgical techniques use advanced technology to reduce the need for large openings. The surgeon can now access the point of surgery inside the body using much smaller instruments while navigating using several imaging techniques previously unavailable. Dr. Gottlieb is a specialist in minimally invasive spinal surgery.
Spinal surgeries such as decompressions and fusions are now accomplished using one or more special instruments called tubular retractors. These retractors create a tunnel directly to the point of the surgical procedure through a small incision just big enough to accommodate the diameter of the retractor, often less than one inch.
Using an imaging device called a fluoroscope, Dr. Gottlieb guides the tubular retractor to the treatment point. The fluoroscope provides a real-time X-ray image on a video screen. Once the tubular retractor is in place, an operating microscope can also magnify the view through the retractor device.
Tools that fit through the retractor perform the various tasks necessary to complete the surgery. Removed tissue is extracted through the retractor, and screws and rods used to stabilize the spine pass through the retractor as well. Since muscle displacement is minimal around the retractor, there’s much less tissue damage from this type of surgery.
A discectomy removes a herniated disc, which typically causes pain by pressing on a nerve near the spinal column. Minimally invasive techniques can also be used for the cervical spine to deal with herniated discs in the neck, and on the lumbar spine for problems in the lower back. The vertebrae on each side of the removed disc are grafted together with bone tissue. More complex spinal fusions may also be done using minimally invasive techniques.
For further information on your condition, please refer to this link: www.aaos.org