The spine provides structural support for the trunk and surrounds and protects the spinal cord. The vertebral column also provides attachment points for the muscles of the back and ribs. Some called cartilage vertebral discs located between vertebrae and the next, have the function of shock absorption during activities such as walking , running and jumping , allowing flexion and extension .
For many years, traditional spine surgery has been to make a large incision up and down the middle of the back, and separate ( or retract ) the back muscles to reach the column. This procedure is commonly known as ” open” technique . One advantage of this technique is that a large incision provides the surgeon easy access to the spinal anatomy . The disadvantage is that the muscle retraction injured muscles and can cause severe postoperative pain. Furthermore, this type of surgery is causing significant blood loss, leaves a large scar , and the recovery time is relatively long.
Although in many cases still opt for the “open ” techniques the number of conditions treated by new surgical procedures such as spinal surgery minimally invasive , is increasing.
What is spine minimally invasive surgery?
As its name implies, spine surgery minimally invasive allows the physician to make smaller incisions in the skin, and avoid large muscle retraction. The surgeon inserts an endoscope (which is a thin, telescope-like) through a small incision. A tiny video camera is connected to the endoscope light and sends images from the “inside” of the body to a screen located in the operating room. Small tubes are inserted through other incisions and within special surgical instruments required for this type of intervention are placed.
Advantages of minimally invasive techniques
Usually surgery minimally invasive spine offers the same traditional techniques that surgical outcomes. However, there are a number of advantages in minimally invasive techniques, including the following:
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- The soft tissues do not suffer much damage, because there is less muscle retraction.
- The surgical incisions are less painful.
- Blood loss is not as abundant.
- Recovery is faster and reduces postoperative pain.
- The hospital stay is shorter.
- The incisions are much smaller, so that healing is less noticeable and more aesthetic.