Percutaneous spinal fusion is a groundbreaking solution for backbone stability. It’s a minimally invasive procedure with many benefits. In this article, Dr. Kieran Slevin, Co-founder & CEO of the North American Spine and Pain Center, gives insights on percutaneous spinal fusion.
Percutaneous spinal fusion is versatile. It can treat degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, scoliosis, and spondylolisthesis. Advances in imaging tech and surgical techniques mean surgeons can accurately navigate the spine.
What is Percutaneous Spinal Fusion?
Percutaneous spinal fusion is a barely invasive procedure used to stabilize the spine. It uses screws and rods placed through small incisions, resulting in faster recovery and less pain than traditional open surgery.
As a renowned interventional spine specialist, Dr. Slevin knows this spinal fusion technique has several advantages, including:
- Reduced risk of complications such as infection and excessive blood loss.
- Smaller incisions with minimal scarring.
- Shorter hospital stay.
Special instruments and imaging are used to perform this procedure. It helps surgeons to place the screws and rods in the precise location to ensure backbone stability. The surgery can be done on the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine.
Patients may experience improved pain relief and increased mobility after the procedure. It has effectively treated degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, and spinal fractures.
Percutaneous spondylodesis originated in Germany in the 1990s and has become famous worldwide for its many benefits.
Benefits of Minimally Invasive Approaches
Percutaneous spondylodesis offers many perks. Its minimal-invasion technique results in faster recoveries and less post-op pain. Plus, it lessens the chance of contamination and harm to nearby tissue. Dr. Slevin outlines more advantages of this technique, including:
- The scarring is slight due to the minor cuts.
- Less blood loss during the process.
- Shorter hospital stays.
- Return to daily activities quicker.
- Reduced risk of problems such as nerve damage or muscle weakness.
- Improved outcome.
Moreover, muscle damage is reduced, and rehab is quicker since tissue is kept safe and there is minimal disruption to the area. People searching for spinal stability should consider percutaneous spondylodesis. Embracing this innovative technique can result in better outcomes and patient satisfaction.
To take advantage of percutaneous spondylodesis, patients must stick to their surgeon’s post-op instructions regarding physical activity restrictions and wound care. Doing so will optimize recovery and secure long-term success after the procedure.
Techniques Used in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Fusion
Percutaneous spinal fusion utilizes various methods to ensure minimal invasiveness with spinal stability. Inserting screws or rods into the spine through small incisions reduces recovery time and lowers the risk of infection compared to open surgeries.
Percutaneous pedicle fixation is a popular approach. It involves inserting screws into the vertebrae without extensive muscle dissection. This method provides stability and helps with fusing.
Lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) is another technique. It uses an incision on the side rather than the back. A cage is placed between adjacent vertebrae to restore disc height and promote joining. LLIF has higher fusion rates and fewer complications compared to traditional open surgery.
Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) can be done using minimally invasive techniques for cervical spine issues. A tube is inserted through a small incision in the front of the neck to access and remove damaged discs. Fusion is achieved by inserting a bone graft or synthetic material in the empty disc space.
When considering minimally invasive percutaneous spondylodesis, consult a board-certified orthopedic or neurosurgeon specializing in these techniques for the best outcomes.
Advancements in Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion
Minimally invasive spondylodesis offers a less invasive alternative to traditional open surgery, with reduced pain, shorter hospital stays, and faster recovery times. It uses small incisions, specialized instruments to access the spine, and implants or bone grafts to promote joining. Robotic-assisted navigation and biologics (growth factors and stem cells) also help with precision and healing.
Potential Risks and Complications
Percutaneous spondylodesis: it’s minimally invasive, but there are potential risks. It’s essential to know these before undergoing the procedure.
- Infection at the incision site is a possibility. It can be prevented with sterilization and post-op care.
- Nerve damage or injury may occur, causing pain or other neurological symptoms.
- Adjacent segment disease may happen, which is degeneration of nearby vertebrae. It could mean more surgeries in the future.
- Hardware failure is also a risk. Screws and rods used for stabilization could break or become loose.
Talk to a spine specialist like Dr. Kieran Slevin to understand the risks and benefits of percutaneous spondylodesis. Seek their guidance and have a complete understanding of this procedure. Knowledge is power when it comes to healthcare decisions.
Recovery and Rehabilitation Process
For the recovery and rehabilitation process after percutaneous spondylodesis, patients must have a comprehensive plan for proper healing and regaining functionality.
1. Post-Operative Care: Professionals will monitor patients in a recovery room after the surgery. Pain management remedies, such as medication and cold therapy, may be used to reduce any discomfort. Depending on the case, patients may have to stay at the hospital for a few days.
2. Physical Therapy: Once discharged, patients will start physical therapy with a specialist in spinal rehabilitation. These exercises will strengthen back muscles, improve flexibility, and restore mobility slowly. The therapist will make a program based on individual needs, like age, health condition, and fusion technique.
3. Lifestyle Modifications: Patients must make lifestyle modifications to recover successfully. It includes adhering to medication, avoiding activities that strain the spine, using proper posture while standing or sitting, and maintaining a healthy weight. These changes can stop complications and promote long-term wellness.
4. Follow-up Appointments: Regular follow-up appointments with the surgeon and physical therapist are needed to monitor progress during the recovery period. These allow healthcare providers to check healing status, address issues, and modify treatment plans. Patients should communicate their experiences and obey instructions during these visits.
Not all patients are suitable for percutaneous spondylodesis, though. It depends on the extent of the spinal condition, osteoporosis, and prior failed surgeries. Physicians must evaluate each patient individually to decide the best treatment.
Want to learn more? Visit Dr. Kieran Slevin and the NASPAC team today.