In recent years, minimally invasive surgery has become widely used in different aspects of medical treatment and specialties, including orthopedics. Thanks to advanced research and methodologies, there are now minimally invasive orthopedic surgeries that can help treat various injuries and relieve chronic pain.
Have you been involved in an accident recently? Are you experiencing chronic pain? Did your doctor suggest or recommend a minimally-invasive surgery procedure? In this post, your trusted Boca Raton orthopedics and sports medicine specialists discuss all the basics that you need to know about minimally invasive surgery to help you understand whether it might be suitable for your condition, as well as what you can expect from such a procedure.
What is Minimally Invasive Surgery?
Minimally invasive surgeries are surgical procedures that employ a variety of techniques that are less severe than traditional open surgery. Traditionally, surgeries often require large incisions. They are also considered invasive as tissues surrounding the focus of treatment can also be affected during the procedure. On the contrary, minimally invasive surgeries seek to minimize the needed incision and invasion.
During a minimally invasive procedure, the doctor operates with as little damage to the body as possible compared to open surgery. As such, these procedures are associated with less pain, faster recovery, fewer complications, and shorter hospital stay. Some procedures don’t even require confinement. In general, minimally invasive surgeries are considered safer.
How is this possible? The techniques that doctors use vary depending on the patient’s injury or condition. But typically, surgeons use smaller tools, as well as camera and lighting devices that can fit through tiny incisions. Moreover, some minimally invasive procedures utilize robotic technology that allows for better precision and thus, even less damage to surrounding skin, tissues, and muscle.
Can Minimally Invasive Surgeries Help relieve Chronic Pain?
When you visit an orthopedic clinic, your doctor may introduce you to minimally invasive surgeries and discuss them as an option for your condition. As such, you’d want to know how these surgeries work for orthopedics.
Before anything else, it is important to keep in mind that not all procedures can “cure” all pain. In some cases, a combination of multiple treatment methods are needed to treat various symptoms. These methods may include minimally invasive surgery. Ultimately, minimally invasive surgeries for pain relief are recommended to meet these goals:
- Reduce the patient’s pain symptoms
- Help the patient remain active
- Slow down or reverse the loss of day-to-day function
What is Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MISS)?
Minimally invasive spine surgeries (MISS) are procedures performed on bones and other components of the backbone. These surgeries use smaller incisions and cause less harm to tissues and muscles. As such, they lead to less pain. Patients also recover faster and as a result, they can feel a difference in their pain symptoms faster, too.
During a MISS, the doctor will make a small incision, big enough for the insertion of the tubular retractor. This is a stiff, tube-shaped device that creates a tunnel from the opening to the problem area in the spine. It pushes tissue and muscle aside so the doctor can then insert the small tools that will be used for the operation. The surgeon may also use a special microscope or camera, and view the spine in real time through X-ray.
Nowadays, orthopedic surgeons use minimally invasive techniques for different types of spine surgery, including spinal fusion, laminectomy, and lumbar discectomy.
Who Are Candidates for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?
Most patients who consult orthopedics in Palm Beach County may not need surgery. However, your doctor might recommend spine surgery as a last resort after all other methods — such as physical therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes — have been exhausted and still you don’t feel pain relief. MISS can potentially help relief pain associated with the following conditions:
- Herniated discs
- Spinal stenosis
- Spinal fracture
- Spinal infection
- Spinal deformities (such as scoliosis)
- Spinal infection
- Spinal tumor
What Are Common Types of Minimally Invasive Surgery for Pain Treatment and Orthopedics?
Aside from MISS, there are other minimally invasive surgeries performed for orthopedic conditions. These include arthroscopy, which is a procedure used to look at and treat problems inside a joint. Below are the types of arthroscopy:
- Knee arthroscopy. This is commonly done for ACL tear reconstruction, loose body removal, meniscal tear repair, and inflamed synovium removal.
- Hip arthroscopy. This is typically used to correct hip injuries, synovitis, and hip dysplasia.
- Shoulder arthroscopy. This may be used for rotator cuff repair, labral repair, shoulder instability repair, inflamed tissue removal, and bone spur removal.
- Wrist arthroscopy. This can be done to repair wrist fractures and ligament tears, and treat chronic wrist pain.
Moreover, minimally invasive total joint replacement is also possible. This is recommended for patients who are likely to benefit from the removal and replacement of their worn-out hip, knee, or shoulder joints.
Meanwhile, there are also minimally invasive procedures specifically meant to relieve chronic pain. These include:
- Trigger point injections. In this procedure, medicine is injected into the “trigger point” or knot in the muscle to deactivate the knot and free up affected nerves.
- Lumbar epidural injections. In this procedure, steroid or platelet-rich plasma is injected into the epidural space to relieve back pain.
- Facet joint injections. In this procedure, medicine is injected into the facet joint, which is the part of the spine that allows us to move and twist.
- Sacroiliac joint injections. In this procedure, pain-relieving medication is injected into the sacroiliac joints, which are located near the pelvis.
Is Minimally Invasive Surgery Right for You? Find out more about Orthopedics in Boca Raton
Minimally invasive surgeries offer a number of benefits. However, the only way to know whether one is right for you is to get proper consultation and diagnosis. Orthopaedic Surgery Associates has a team of highly qualified and experienced orthopedic doctors who can evaluate your condition and symptoms. They can recommend the right pain management and treatment options for you.
We also offer the convenience of telemedicine for initial consultation and follow-up check-ups.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.