What is Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

What is Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

What is Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

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Here in Tampa,  we are in a media war over Spine Surgery Services.  It has become a very competitive business,  with many Centers or Institutes deploying expensive marketing teams touting expertise in Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery.  It does sound great.  But what does Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery mean?

About 30 years ago,  spine surgery was associated with larger incisions,  long recoveries,  and unpredictable results.  With better diagnostic tests (CT scans,  MRI’s,  etc) spinal surgery has become more predictable for certain problems.  At this time,  most spine surgeons will agree that the most straight forward problems,  such as single level disk herniations,  focused spinal stenosis,  and single level spinal instability have predictable surgery success rates.

The use of magnification,  and x-ray localization,  and smaller incisions has become mainstream. I will submit the smaller incision is what most patients consider as being Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery.   Because of that definition,  most spine surgeons today are using some form of minimally invasive spine surgery.

On the other hand, Spine Surgeons have some more specific criterion to define Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MIS).  Some surgeons define MIS as using blunt dissection and muscle sparing techniques to minimize post operative scaring.  Some surgeons define MIS fusion as approaches that spare the multifidus muscles.

In the end,  no matter what you call it,  there is a hope that the MIS technique will have some identifiable advantages.  Most scientific studies have shown that if the goals of surgery has been achieved,  no matter the specific technique,  the results are good.  Some MIS studies have show some short term benefits such as faster recovery.   Others, however,  have shown increased complication rates,  and increased rates of revision surgery. There is a hope that some of the minimally invasive techniques will help avoid late instabilities that develop after decompression,  but so far the results have not been conclusive.

Because of the competitive nature of the Spine Surgery business,  the term Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery has become more of a marketing term than a medical one.  While many Surgeons are determined to prove the specific techniques beneficial,  it is still too early to say the techniques are true long term advantages.  From my experience,  the minimally invasive approach has made outpatient spine surgery a reality, and that is a good thing.

Surgeons that are focused on achieving the primary surgical goals will likely achieve good outcomes.  From the patient perspective,   they should find that Surgeon that has that focus.   Forget the marketing.  Let the scientific community debate the nuanced benefits of certain techniques.  Patients should look for the surgeon with predictable results,  and experience to maximize surgical success.  No matter what you call it,  the outcome is the most important factor.

Citations

  • Gum JL. The business side of medicine for orthopedic residents and fellows: when were we supposed to learn this? Am J Orthop (Belle Mead NJ). 2014 Aug;43(8):E189-90. PubMed PMID: 25136878

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Author and Contributor to www.Spine-Health.com – July, 2015

www.Spine-Health.com/author/john-h-shim-md-facs

Chief of Surgery, Mease Countryside and Mease Dunedin Hospitals, Safety Harbor and Dunedin, Florida. 2014-2016.

Orthopaedic Section Chief Mease Countryside Hospital; Safety Harbor, Florida Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.2008-2013

Board Member Morton Plant Mease Research Council

Co-Director of Mease Neuro-Ortho Spine Center Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.

One of “6 Spine Physicians Ranked #1 on Google” – December 2016

Top Ten Most Liked Spine Surgeons on the Internet – July 2016

2016 Spine Surgeons to Know list – January 2016

2014 Spine Specialists to know list – September 2014

One of Ten Leaders of Certified Spine Programs – December 2011

 

The Best Orthopedics in Tampa

The information provided on this website does not provide or should be considered medical advice. It is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment of any condition. The information provided is for informational purposes only. You should not rely solely on the information provided on this website in making a decision to pursue a specific treatment or advice. You should consult directly with a professional healthcare provider.

As a condition of using the information on this website, ShimSpine and its physicians are not responsible for any advice, diagnosis, treatment or outcome you may obtain.

ShimSpine.com is completely self-funded. No outside funds are accepted or used. This website does not utilize paid advertising as a source of revenue.
Outpatient Spine Surgery Considerations. www.Spine-Health.com. January 2016.

What is Spinal Stenosis? www.Spine-Health.com. October 2015.

Surgeon insights on the Changing Landscape of Orthopedic Care. OrthopedicToday. June 2014

Chapter 33: Interspinous Spacers. Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

Chapter 35: Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Lumbar Fusion Technique.Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

March 2010 Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting New Orleans, Louisiana February 2010

February 2010 A Review of Dynamic Stabilization in the Lumbar Spine Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

November 2009 Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Community Based Lecture; Tampa, Florida

September 2009 Instructor/Proctor Minimally Invasive Lumbar Cadaver Lab; Tampa, Florida

February 2009 New Spinal Technology: Cervical Disc Replacement and Interspinous Spacers. Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

February 2008 The Degenerative Spine: The Role of Dynamic Lumbar Stablization and Interspinous Spacers Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

October 2008 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

September 2007 Emerging Technology in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

October 2006 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

May 2005 The Role of Kyphoplasty in the Treatment of Vertebral Compression Fractures Mease Neurosciences Symposium; Clearwater, Florida
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