The spine physicians and surgeons at UM BWMC use the latest operative techniques to treat spine conditions and disorders. Minimally invasive surgeries consist of a small incision to reach the site of the spine that needs correcting. This technique may allow our patients to recover more quickly, have less scarring and bleeding, and have a shorter stay in the hospital. These surgeries include:
- Balloon Kyphoplasty - This is a minimally invasive technique treating spinal fractures. It can reduce back pain and improve mobility, including the ability to perform daily activities such as walking, hobbies and work. With a small instrument, a spine surgeon creates a narrow pathway into the fractured bone. An orthopedic balloon is guided through the instrument into the vertebra. The balloon is then inflated in an attempt to raise the collapsed vertebra and return it to its normal position. The balloon is then deflated and removed, leaving a cavity. The specialist fills the cavity with a special cement to support surrounding bone and prevent future collapse.
- Facet fusions - Facets are the joints in the spine. This is a newer technique for spinal fusions and has been gaining popularity as it allows a minimally invasive approach to spinal fusions. This involves placing a screw, bone plug or a similar device through the facet joints of the back.
- Microdiscectomy - This is a minimally invasive technique that allows a surgeon to remove a herniated disc. This theoretically allows for a smaller incision and a quicker recovery however, not all disc herniations may be treated with this technique.
- Interspinous process spacers - When a patient has stenosis or a narrowing of the spinal canal and bends forward the canal opens. This can open enough so the patient is no longer symptomatic. An interspinous process spacer tries to achieve a flexed position of the area of the spine that is narrowed and therefore allows the patient to be asymptomatic without undergoing a decompressive surgery.