Over the years, spine surgeons have done a commendable job treating and managing spine conditions. People who experience severe back pain can obtain relief from various treatments, including medications, physical therapy, and surgery. Open surgery has always been the doctor’s last resort after all other treatments have failed to give the desired relief. However, traditional open surgeries for back-related conditions are usually invasive, risky, and slow. This treatment method also only addresses some back problems, not all. It can also lead to complications that could leave you in pain and hospitalized for weeks or months.

Advancements in the medical field have introduced a more favorable, less risky, less invasive, and more effective surgical treatment option for back conditions. Spine surgeons are now opting for minimally invasive spine surgery, or MISS, to treat spine conditions that cannot be treated using medications and other non-surgical interventions. However, you must understand the treatment you are receiving, its benefits and risk factors, and the treatment process if you opt for MISS. Our spine surgeons at LAMIS have all the information you need before making an informed decision in Tennessee.

What MISS is All About

Some back conditions require more extensive treatment than medication, resting, and physical therapy. If your condition does not improve after treatment, your doctor can recommend surgery to fix the underlying problem. But spine surgery is a big deal, so you must think carefully before making the final decision. Open-back surgery has lots of risks, is painful, and could take long to heal. But MISS is a better alternative, as it is easy and quick and takes a short period to recover. Additionally, you are not left with massive scarring on your back after a minimally invasive surgery.

Spine surgeons are offering MISS as an alternative to traditional open-back surgery. It entails making a minor incision on your back to reach the problematic site for treatment. The incision the surgeon makes does not result in excessive bleeding and does not leave massive scarring on your back. The doctor utilizes modern tools and instruments to view and treat the back through the incision. Your treatment can relieve pressure on your back caused by compressed spinal nerves. It can also stabilize your vertebrae, reducing your pain and discomfort. Tennessee minimally invasive spine surgery is recommended for you rather than open surgery for the following reasons:

  • Miss is safer than open surgery as it involves making small incisions in the back with minimal bleeding and exposure.
  • The treatment process is faster since it involves accessing the site through a small incision and correcting the back problem causing pain or discomfort.
  • The incision only leaves you minor scars that can heal over time, not large scars that can impact your self-image for life.
  • Your recovery after MISS is faster and smoother since the procedure does not result in massive blood loss, as experienced during open surgeries.
  • MISS is also less invasive as it does not involve opening up your back to reach the treatment site
  • After the treatment, you will experience minimal pain, which goes away as you recover.
  • Recovering from surgery after MISS only takes a few days, which reduces the number of days you will be in the hospital
  • The incision made during MISS minimizes muscle damage, reducing pain and recovery time.
  • The reduced recovery period and minimal pain also minimize your reliance on pain medication after treatment.

Typically, spine surgeons perform Tennessee minimally invasive spine surgery in an outpatient setting rather than an inpatient one. You only need local anesthesia to go through the treatment. It will wear out immediately after treatment. If you are allergic to general anesthesia, this should give you peace of mind.

Its Risk Factors

Doctors perform surgery as the final treatment option due to its risk factors. However, the risks are lower with minimally invasive treatments than with open surgeries. Even with reduced risks, you could experience some issues with MISS. Understanding and preparing for these issues before undergoing treatment is necessary.

For example, you can suffer a severe allergic reaction if you are allergic to anesthesia. Remember that the surgeon will start by administering local anesthesia to keep you comfortable and pain-free throughout the treatment process. Even if the anesthesia used during MISS is less and remains in effect for a shorter period, it can still affect you if you are allergic to anesthesia.

You could also experience excessive blood loss or a possible infection, however small the incision is. However, a skilled surgeon will take the necessary precautions to minimize this risk.

Additionally, there is usually no guarantee that MISS will entirely treat the problem on your back. Sometimes, surgical treatments do not produce the expected results. In that case, the surgeon will recommend open surgery to obtain a proper view of the problem and treat it effectively.

Here are other possible risks you should be aware of and prepared for:

  • Surgical treatment, whether open or minimally invasive, can cause your spinal fluid to leak
  • The treatment can result in bladder or bowel problems, depending on where the treatment site is
  • It could result in unforeseen bleeding during and after the treatment
  • The incisions on your back can become infected
  • You could suffer fluid retention in your lungs, which could cause pneumonia
  • It can result in vein thrombosis when blood clots develop in your leg, causing you to become bedridden
  • You could experience persistent pain after the treatment, especially when the treatment fails to deliver the expected results.
  • If the surgeon is unable to access the treatment site through the incisions, you will require open surgery to complete the treatment.

Spine Conditions Tennessee Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Can Treat

Most spine conditions are treatable. Doctors use various treatments for different spine conditions, including medication, physical therapy, and rest. However, some conditions require more extensive treatment, like surgery, to manage your pain and keep the problem from recurring in the future. MISS is a treatment option that can address various spine problems. You can choose Tennessee minimally invasive spine surgery for the following conditions:

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

The human back has several nerves going through the spine. When the canal narrows in your lower back, it could result in lumbar spinal stenosis. Stenosis simply means constricting, while lumbar is the lower part of the spinal canal. When the narrowing occurs, you experience pressure on your spine and the nerves serving your spine. That can cause you pain and make it difficult to walk. You could also lean forward whenever you are walking to discharge some tension in your lumbar.

Additionally, pressure on your lower back can affect your legs, making them numb. If you do not address the problem in time, it could affect your fecal and bladder control.

Osteoarthritis is a known cause of lumbar spinal stenosis. Others include back injuries, contracting spine canals, rheumatoid arthritis, a particular type of bone disorder, and spinal tumors. Symptoms include sciatica, back pain, lost sexual ability, numbness and/or pain in the lower body, including the legs, and loss of fecal or bowel control.

It is advisable to see a doctor immediately if you experience one or more of those symptoms. An experienced spine surgeon will use the right strategies to treat the problems permanently.

A Herniated Disc

The human back has discs between the vertebrae. They are rubber-like cushions with a soft middle and a nucleus and are covered by a firm, equally smooth exterior, the annulus. The annulus protects the discs and is more susceptible to damage during accidents or through wear and tear. When the annular tear, disc herniation could occur when the middle part pushes through the damaged annulus.

A herniated disc is simply a slipped or ruptured disc. This damage can happen to any part of the spine. It is most common in the lower back or lumbar region. The symptoms you experience depend on the exact site of the injury. Some symptoms include pain in the back, legs, and arms, a tingling sensation or radiating numbness, and weakened limbs.

Some patients do not suffer severe symptoms at the beginning. But as the damage progresses, the symptoms could become more severe. The leading cause of herniation is regression due to wear and tear. That is why this is a common condition among older adults. But people with excess body weight and sedentary lifestyles. Physically demanding jobs and those who smoke are at a higher risk.

Some symptoms can disappear with rest. However, you need more extensive treatment if your symptoms worsen. For example, if the spine condition affects your bladder control, you should see a surgeon immediately. 

Spine Infections

There are many causes of spine infections, including post-surgical infections and fungal and internal bacteria. Some of the common types of spine infections are:

  • Epidural abscess
  • Vertebral osteomyelitis affecting the vertebral bones
  • Discitis or vertebral disc infections

You are at a higher risk of spine infections if you have cancer, are HIV positive, eat a poor diet, or are obese. Some symptoms to watch out for include severe back pain, weight loss, fever, and chills. When you see a spine surgeon with one or more symptoms, they could recommend medication to treat the infection. If that fails, your surgeon can opt for minimally invasive spine surgery in Tennessee.

Spine Tumors

You develop spine tumors when abnormal tissues are growing on your backbone. Any tumor developing in your spinal cord is a primary spinal tumor. It pressures the spine, causing you pain and discomfort. Some tumors grow away from the spine but spread to the spine. These are secondary spine tumors and are usually cancerous.

Some of the symptoms you could experience with a spine tumor include loss of muscle function, loss of sensation in the legs, loss of bladder and fecal function, and weakened muscles that could make you stumble, fall, or make it difficult to walk.

It is an excellent idea to seek medical treatment after encountering these symptoms. After a thorough examination, an experienced spine surgeon will know the best treatment for your spine tumor.

Sciatica or Lumbar Radiculopathy

You can also treat sciatica using Tennessee minimally invasive back surgery. It is a back condition that occurs due to compressed sciatica nerves. The compression can happen due to a bone spur or ruptured disc. When the compression occurs, you could experience pain and numbness in one leg, making walking difficult without support.

Preparing For Tennessee Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

When you visit a doctor with a back problem or pain, they will ask you questions to establish the cause of your pain. They will also seek to understand other signs you have, including numbness on one or more legs or hands, neck pain, or difficulties in walking, standing, or sleeping. The doctor will also review your treatment history to obtain more information about your condition and treatment history. They will also conduct a physical and diagnostic examination to determine the actual cause of your symptoms. If the doctor diagnoses you with a spine condition, they will also discuss treatment options to alleviate and manage your symptoms.

The doctor refers you to a spine surgeon when they believe that your spine condition can only be treated surgically. The surgeon will explain the treatment process, expected risks, and what to expect after treatment. They will also determine whether you qualify for Tennessee minimally invasive spine surgery. The recommendations come after an x-ray exam to determine the condition and the treatment site.

The spine surgeon could ask you to take medication, like antibiotics, before treatment. They could also ask you to quit smoking for quicker and more effective healing. You could also stop taking medications and non-herbal remedies that could affect your treatment or impede your healing.

Find a Competent Spine Surgeon Near Me

Spine surgery sounds severe, but it could be the only treatment option that will manage your spine condition. However, you can opt for minimally invasive spine surgery, as it is less risky, less invasive, and quick to perform and heal. Your spine surgeon will first establish your spine condition and whether you are a good candidate for MISS. We will prepare you for the treatment process and what to expect after treatment at LAMIS. Our spine surgeons have the skills and proficiency to perform effective minimally invasive surgery. Contact us at 310-734-6088 to understand our services and your treatment options better.

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