Spend any time researching modern treatments for back care and you will see the phrase “minimally invasive” very frequently. Clearly, minimally invasive spine procedures are less traumatic than open back surgery and offer faster recovery times in general. Less clear, however, are the distinctions between the various procedures discussed in various websites.
The term “minimally invasive” is generally used to denote procedures requiring an incision of less than 1.5cm (just over 1/2″). Other commonly used terms are laparoscopic surgery, or band-aid surgery. These procedures require small incisions but cause various degrees of tissue damage below the surface of the skin. In addition, many “minimally invasive” surgeries that enter through the back only allow the surgeon access to one level of the spine per procedure. If the patient’s MRI indicates a problem at the wrong level (which occurs frequently), or there are issues at multiple levels, the patient may not experience relief from their pain and may require another surgery.
We work with interventional pain specialists, orthopedic spine surgeons and neurosurgeons to match the patient to the right procedure(s). The ultimate goal is to relieve the patient’s pain symptoms through the least invasive means possible. For many patients, part of a suggested treatment plan will include the AccuraScope® procedure. The AccuraScope procedure utilizes a natural opening at the base of your spine to access the spinal canal. In addition to being less traumatic, this approach allows the physician to guide instruments along the length of the lumbar spine, diagnosing and treating problems in real time. North American Spine offers the least invasive surgery available, and the only one that can treat multiple levels with a single procedure.
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