For years, most spine surgeons have tried to help the majority of patients with back pain issues without surgery. The vast majority of patients can be treated successfully without the need for surgery. These conservative treatments often include physical therapy, limited medication, traction, injections, and chiropractic care.
When these measures fail, surgery is sometimes the final step. When this is the case, the patients are understandably terrified of the prospect of surgery. So many patients are worried about “stories of back surgery” and the painful and prolonged recovery period. Patients also state that they are worried that even with back surgery, they may always live in pain because of the surgical exposure and scarring.
It is because of these valid concerns of patients, that many surgeons have intensely investigated newer and potentially less invasive ways of treating back pain surgically. This was the advent of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery. The basic concept is simple. Surgeons wish to treat the conditions of the spine, like disc herniations and bone spurs, with as small and little tissue disruption as possible, while adequately treating the condition. I usually explain to my patients that I want to treat your problem, by removing as little of your bone and tissue as possible, and to minimize any muscle damage during the surgery as possible. God gave us the muscle and the bone for a reason…..because we need it. Furthermore, there is nothing manmade that we can put in the spine, that functions as well as what God originally designed for us.
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery strives to achieve these goals. The LESS Institute (Less Exposure Spinal Surgery) and SMISS (Society of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgeons) are some of the larger societies of like minded surgeons who have dedicated their careers to constantly improve these less traumatic forms of spinal surgery. I have spent a good portion of my career not only treating patients with these advanced techniques and technologies, but also training other surgeons and educating patients and hospitals on the many benefits of these new and beneficial spinal procedures.