The Many Benefits of Minimally Invasive Surgery

Surgery of any kind is never the first course of treatment, and always comes with at least some risks. Plus, the bigger the incision and the longer it’s open, the higher your risks become. So it stands to reason that if you’re facing spinal surgery, you want to keep the incision as small and the procedure as short as possible.

Dr. Patrick C. McNulty, our double board-certified, award-winning orthopedic surgeon, specializes in complex spinal procedures and is a master of minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS). He is also well versed in robotic minimally invasive spine surgery. Here, he explains the multiple advantages of this less-is-more approach to spinal care.

A word about spinal surgery

Generally speaking, there are two categories of spinal surgeries: decompression and fusion.

Decompression is a procedure that relieves pressure from nerves that are impinged by conditions such as herniated discs, arthritis, or bone spurs. Spinal fusion is a technique to stabilize your spine using instrumentation such as pins, screws, grafts, and plates.

Regardless of what type of spine surgery you’re facing, there’s a good chance Dr. McNulty can perform it with MISS. While this approach isn’t right for every patient or every procedure, when it’s a good fit, it’s a great alternative to open surgery.

Advantages of minimally invasive spine surgery

MISS involves a relatively small incision: about one inch wide. Instead of making a large incision and cutting through muscle and other soft tissue, Dr. McNulty slips a narrow tube into the hole to retract your skin, then he gently pushes the muscles out of the way without damaging them.

He uses fluoroscopy to visualize the surgical area, guide his instruments, and make precise adjustments to correct your spinal condition. If you’re a good candidate for minimally invasive surgery, you can expect a lot less than you’d get from open surgery — including less:

The main idea behind MISS is to reduce trauma so you can return to full function sooner and with minimal pain. 

Conditions we treat with minimally invasive spine surgery

Some conditions require open surgery, but when MISS is an option, here are some of the conditions Dr. McNulty can treat:

Of course, surgery is never the first course of action, and Dr. McNulty explores every possible treatment option to restore your spinal health with nonsurgical measures. As one of the country’s preeminent orthopedic surgeons with more than 30 years of experience, Dr. McNulty provides world-class care you can trust.

If you’re facing spinal surgery and want to find out if you’re a good candidate for MISS, call us today or request an appointment online.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Can Spinal Fusion Treat My Scoliosis?

When your spine snakes into an S-shape rather than a straight line, it changes your posture, your appearance, and your life. There are several treatments that correct scoliosis, including spinal fusion. Find out if it might help you.

Can the Forward Curve of My Spine Be Corrected?

From rounded shoulders to an outright hunchback, a noticeable forward curve in your spine may be cause for concern. Called kyphosis, this condition may lead to serious health problems if you don’t get it fixed. Here are your treatment options.

My Legs Feel Weak: Do I Have Sciatica?

Do you experience numbness or weakness in the legs? We all go weak in the knees when we fall in love or face our fears. But when leg weakness sticks around, it’s time to find out why. Read on to learn more.

When Minimally Invasive Surgery Might Be Necessary

When it comes to your spine, the less poking and prodding the better. While traditional open surgery may be best in some cases, we may be able to correct your spinal problem with a far less-invasive technique. Find out if you’re a candidate.