Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery – Mayo Clinic
Most people will experience back pain at some point in their lives. And when you do experience back pain, your primary care doctor generally will undergo non-operative measures, give it some time, rest, ice packs, heat packs. If that doesn't work generally the next step would be physical therapy then the next step may be to consider injections. And at that point if those things don't succeed in alleviating the pain, then you may need to see a surgeon to discuss the problem that you have.
Here at Mayo we have a comprehensive Spine Center that will evaluate the patient and assess all options beginning with non-operative options and in many cases surgery can be avoided altogether. Second of all when surgery is indicated, then we can discuss minimally invasive options. And those options may include smaller surgeries, smaller incisions, potentially same-day surgeries or overnight surgeries.
The advantage of that would be to decrease pain, lower length of stay, increase patient satisfaction and return to work and you reduce the rate of disease above or below a spine surgery down the line.
This is important to emphasize that not everyone is a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery. You'd want to have a careful evaluation, and then you can develop the best plan to target those pain generators. Depending on how many generators you have, you may be a candidate for a minimally invasive spine surgery.
The first step during that consideration is to look at the imaging and what we'll find in most people is that they have a number of levels that are degenerated. We want to identify the degenerated levels that are actually causing the symptoms. And so that may entail either a decompression, which means we take out bone or disk or joint. The other thing that may be necessary would be a spinal fusion or stabilization. And those are cases that really we should reserve for cases of instability or abnormal motion.
The third area that we can do minimally invasively is joint replacements or disc replacements so to speak. And then the final way is if you have a spinal tumor. This is going to be more rare, not as common as degenerative disc disease. But if you do have a spinal tumor, there may be minimally invasive approaches and ways of resecting that tumor in a minimally invasive fashion.
Some of the procedures are same day. Some of the procedures you spend the night and then you go home the very next morning.
In some cases general anesthesia is the most appropriate and safest form of anesthesia. In other cases we can do spinal blocks in place of general anesthesia.
Here at Mayo Clinic we've done a lot of firsts in terms of minimally invasive spine surgery. A lot of those areas are areas of advancements that we're making here at Mayo. The place really revolves around providing patient-centered care and helping patients as much as possible.
The needs of the patient come first here at Mayo every time.