Discover the Top 8 Causes of Lower Back Pain

When it comes to spine surgery, minimizing trauma and promoting faster recovery is crucial. Minimally invasive spine surgery aims to reduce the physical impact of surgery on patients. 

Dr. Paul-Marie Brisson, specializing in minimally invasive techniques, excels in achieving these goals. By using smaller incisions, specialized instruments, and advanced imaging technology, he performs precise procedures with minimal disruption to surrounding tissues. This approach reduces post-operative pain, scarring, and hospital stays, and allows for a quicker return to normal activities. 

Let's discuss the benefits, techniques, and considerations of minimally invasive back surgery.

What Is Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

Minimally invasive spine surgery is a surgical procedure that uses advanced techniques and equipment to minimize damage to the body compared to traditional open surgery. The goal is to reduce surgical trauma, incision size, and interruption to surrounding tissues. The surgeon makes small incisions and uses thin tubes and cameras called endoscopes to navigate and perform the operation with precision. This approach can treat conditions like herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease. 

Compared to open surgery, minimally invasive techniques offer advantages such as less pain, lower infection risk, reduced scarring, shorter hospital stays, quicker recovery, and faster return to daily activities. However, risks exist and suitability depends on the surgeon's expertise, the patient's health, and the specific spinal condition.

How Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Works

Minimally invasive spine surgery starts with the surgeon making small incisions, usually less than an inch long. Narrow tubes are inserted through these incisions to maintain access to the spine. A fluoroscope is used to visualize the surgical area by projecting real-time X-ray images onto a screen.

Specialized instruments, like an endoscope with a light and high-resolution camera, are then introduced through the tubes to access the spine. This provides a clear image of the spinal structures on a monitor, allowing the surgeon to perform the surgery accurately with minimal disruption to surrounding tissues.

The specific procedure performed using minimally invasive techniques depends on the patient's condition. For example, a herniated disc may be partially removed in a minimally invasive discectomy to relieve nerve root or spinal cord pressure. In a minimally invasive laminectomy, part of the bone over the nerve canal is removed to create more space for the nerves. Lastly, in a minimally invasive spinal fusion surgery, two or more vertebrae are joined together to stabilize the spine and reduce pain.

After surgery, the tubes are removed, and the small incisions are closed with sutures. The smaller incisions in minimally invasive surgery result in less tissue damage, leading to faster healing and recovery.

Minimally Invasive Techniques and Procedures

The most common techniques and procedures Dr. Brisson performs include the following:

  • Revision Surgery: Revision surgery is performed when a previous spinal surgery has failed or the condition has worsened. Dr. Brisson specializes in performing revision surgeries using the latest techniques and technologies for optimal outcomes.
  • Scoliosis Spine Surgery: Scoliosis is a condition characterized by abnormal curvature of the spine. If the curvature progresses and causes pain or other issues, surgical treatment may be necessary. Dr. Brisson has extensive experience in performing surgery for scoliosis and utilizes advanced techniques to correct spinal deformities.
  • Kyphosis Surgery: Kyphosis is a condition where the spine curves excessively outward, resulting in a rounded back. Dr. Brisson is highly skilled in performing surgery to correct kyphosis, employing state-of-the-art techniques for precise and accurate results.
  • Spinal Fusion: Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure that stabilizes the spine and reduces pain caused by spinal instability by fusing two or more vertebrae together. Whenever possible, we utilize minimally invasive techniques to minimize tissue damage and promote faster recovery.
  • Artificial Disc Replacement: Artificial disc replacement is a surgical procedure that involves removing a damaged spinal disc and replacing it with an artificial disc. The goal of this procedure is to preserve spinal motion and alleviate pain caused by disc damage.
  • Laminectomy: Laminectomy is a surgical procedure that involves removing part of the vertebral bone to relieve pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. It is commonly used to treat conditions like spinal stenosis and herniated discs that cause nerve compression.

Our comprehensive guide will walk you through each of these minimally invasive procedures, ensuring you have a clear understanding of what to expect.

What Are Other Alternatives?

Many patients can find relief from their back pain through non-surgical treatments, and it is Dr. Brisson’s priority to offer the most conservative treatment options first. These treatments may include pain medications, physical therapy, lifestyle modifications, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), topical ointments, and corticosteroid injections into the affected area.

If these treatments do not provide adequate relief, we will discuss the possibility of surgical intervention with our patients. We specialize in various types of leading-edge minimally invasive spinal surgeries that can offer long-term pain relief, such as:

  • Revision spine surgery to correct failed spinal surgeries
  • Lumbar fusion surgery (single or multi-level) for joining vertebrae together
  • Discectomy for removing herniated discs
  • Decompression surgery including lumbar laminectomy and recess decompression
  • Spinal stenosis surgery to narrow the hole where nerves pass through 
  • Disc replacement with artificial discs
  • Scoliosis surgery to correct spinal curvature.

Our commitment is to help patients find the best treatment option for their specific needs.

Benefits of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Minimally invasive spine surgeries offer several key benefits that make them an attractive option for many patients. Let's discuss each of these benefits:

  • Reduced postoperative pain: These procedures spare the muscles and surrounding soft tissues from significant surgical trauma, resulting in less postoperative pain. The minimized tissue damage also contributes to a quicker recovery period, allowing patients to return to their daily activities sooner.
  • Shorter hospital stays: Compared to traditional open spine surgeries, minimally invasive procedures typically have shorter hospital stays. In many cases, they can be performed on an outpatient basis, meaning patients can return home on the same day as their surgery. This not only makes the process more convenient but also significantly reduces the overall cost of the surgery.
  • Less visible scarring and lower risk of infection: The smaller incisions used in minimally invasive spine surgeries lead to less visible scarring, which is an important consideration for many patients. Additionally, these smaller incisions also lower the risk of surgical site infection, a common complication associated with larger, open surgeries.
  • Reduced blood loss and fewer transfusions: Minimally invasive procedures often result in less blood loss during surgery and require fewer transfusions. This not only makes the surgery safer but also contributes to a faster recovery as the body doesn't have to spend energy replenishing lost blood.

It's important to remember that while minimally invasive spine surgery has many advantages, it may not be the right choice for everyone. A patient's eligibility for these procedures will depend on various factors, including the specific nature of their spinal condition, overall health status, and personal treatment goals. Therefore, it is crucial to thoroughly discuss all treatment options with a healthcare provider.

Who Can Benefit from Minimally Invasive Surgery?

With years of experience and expertise, Dr. Brisson specializes in diagnosing and treating a variety of common conditions that can benefit from minimally invasive spine care, including:

  • Degenerative Disc Disease: A condition where the discs between the vertebrae wear down, leading to discomfort in the back.
  • Lumbar Disc Herniations: When the discs between the vertebrae herniate or rupture, causing pain and other symptoms.
  • Spinal Stenosis: Narrowing of the spinal canal that can result in nerve compression and radiating pain.
  • Back Bone Spurs: Extra bone growths on the spine that can cause pain.
  • Sciatica/Lumbar Radiculopathy: Compression of the nerves in the lower back, leading to radiating pain and/or numbness.
  • Lumbar Myelopathy: Compression of the spinal cord, resulting in radiating pain and/or numbness.
  • Lumbar Spondylolisthesis: Slippage of one vertebra over another, causing pain and other symptoms.
  • Scoliosis: Sideway curvature of the spine, which can lead to pain and other symptoms.

Dr. Brisson trained in the latest surgical techniques that use smaller incisions, cause less muscle tissue damage, and allow for faster recovery than traditional open spine surgery. They undergo rigorous training in spine anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, and specialized instruments and imaging technology.

What Can Minimally-Invasive Spine Surgeons Do?

Minimally invasive spine surgeon, Dr. Brisson is trained in the latest surgical techniques that use smaller incisions, cause less muscle tissue damage, and allow for faster recovery than traditional open spine surgery. They undergo rigorous training in spine anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, and specialized instruments and imaging technology. 

Before performing a minimally invasive procedure, surgeons carefully review the patient's medical history, health status, and imaging studies to determine the best approach. Real-time imaging guidance is used during surgery to ensure precision. Surgeons also play a role in pre-operative preparation, post-operative care, and coordinating with other healthcare providers for rehabilitation and follow-up care. In summary, these surgeons combine their expertise in traditional and minimally invasive techniques to improve the quality of life for patients with spinal conditions.

Take the First Step Toward a Pain-Free Life Today

Don't let the chance slip away to live a pain-free life with NY Spine Care. Begin your path to relief by scheduling an appointment with Dr. Brisson. Visit our website to book your appointment​​​​​​​ and embark on a journey towards a healthier you, prioritizing the importance of spine care.