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Innovative Techniques, Technologies & Tools Used in Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery







     Minimally invasive spine surgery is a relatively new surgical option for patients suffering from neck and back pain. The collection of procedures that are considered minimally invasive have the same goal of open spine surgery to relieve pressure placed on the spinal cord and/or its nerve roots by removing all or a portion of the anatomical abnormalities causing compression but achieves this goal by taking a far less invasive approach.

During open spine surgery, a surgeon makes large incisions and dissects muscle to open and gain access to the affected area of the neck or back, and patients must be hospitalized for several days. Minimally invasive procedures, on the other hand, use a variety of innovative surgical techniques, technologies, and tools to limit disruption to the spinal components while still decompressing neural structures to provide pain relief. These procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, so patients are up and walking around within a few hours following surgery.

Dilating Tubes

A major aspect of minimally invasive surgery is the gentle separation, not dissection, of spinal muscles so a surgeon can access the spine. This is achieved by inserting a series of dilating tubes, one slightly larger in diameter than the one before it, into a small incision made in the neck or back.

The first dilating tube is used to bluntly separate soft tissues from the surface of the skin down to vertebral bone near the intended surgical site. The second tube, which is slightly larger, is passed over the first tube. Subsequent tubes are inserted in this fashion until the soft tissues are dilated to the desired diameter. A final tube or port, through which the minimally invasive surgery will take place, is inserted and all other, smaller dilating tubes are removed.

Endoscopes

An endoscope, or a camera, is an important tool used in minimally invasive spine surgery. It typically consists of a rigid or flexible tube, a light source, and a lens.

An endoscope is funneled through the final port placed in a patient's neck or back. Once inside the port, the endoscope lens transmits an image from inside the spine to a screen so that the operating surgeon can view the affected area of the neck or back.

Small Surgical Tools

Along with an endoscope, small surgical tools and aids such as a laser, ronjeur, and burr are funneled through the secured port and are used to cauterize soft tissues, as well as cut, remove, and smooth bone.

A laser is typically used to cauterize any remaining muscle fibers or ligaments that hinder access to the affected area of the spine. Cauterization helps prevent bleeding or oozing from the tissues. A laser is also sometimes used to cauterize portions of intervertebral disc material that may be compressing the spinal cord or nerve roots.

A ronjeur is an instrument with sharp, scissor-like edges with the ability to cut through bone. For example, during a minimally invasive procedure that accesses the spine from the posterior (backside) of the patient, a ronjeur would be used to cut through a portion of lamina, or the posterially located plate of vertebral bone that protects the spinal cord.

A burr is a type of drill that is used to smooth down bone spurs, which can also impinge spinal nerve tissues.

Advantages

While some of these techniques, technologies, and tools have been used in surgical procedures for decades, the way in which they are used in minimally invasive procedures demonstrates an innovative and effective method of limiting disruption to the spinal components, particularly the spinal muscles.

As a result, patients who undergo minimally invasive procedures have less risk for infection and bleeding, are not hospitalized, and enjoy a faster, less painful postoperative recovery than what is associated with open spine surgery. Not all patients suffering from neck or back pain will be candidates for minimally invasive procedures, so patients should consult with their doctors and spine specialists to determine candidacy.

Taylor Thomas is an experienced writer who has written for a number of notable publications. As a lifestyle expert, Mr. Thomas is able to offer advice and insight on a multitude of topics, including those pertaining to innovative technologies.

Taylor Thomas is an experienced writer who has written for a number of notable publications and is able to offer advice and insight on a multitude of topics, including innovative technologies. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/laser-spine-institute-partners-with-marodyne-medical-to-offer-the-latest-in-low-intensity-vibration-science-2013-02-19






Article Source: http://www.abcarticledirectory.com

Taylor Thomas is an experienced writer who has written for a number of notable publications. As a lifestyle expert, Mr. Thomas is able to offer advice and insight on a multitude of topics, including those pertaining to innovative technologies.


Posted on 2013-06-05, By: *

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