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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Comments from Dr. Tender on Minimally Invasive Back Surgery

Minimally invasive spine surgery has changed the way people see their treatment options for sciatica and low back pain. Disc herniations can now be removed through half-an-inch incisions, and sciatica, in selected cases, can be cured with same-day surgery (Figure 1). For those who suffer with chronic low back pain and have exhausted most treatment options (physical therapy, medication, epidural steroid injections etc), a possible treatment may be an instrumented fusion. With state-of-the-art technology and use of the operative microscope, one or two level fusions can now be achieved via two small incisions, with minimal muscle dissection and essentially no postoperative sequelae (Figure 2). Emerging techniques may reduce the morbidity associated with spine surgery even further.

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