Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
If other therapy is ineffective, patients with a slipped or damaged disc or pinched nerve need surgery to relieve pressure on the nerve or repair the disc. Fortunately, some surgeries for these conditions can be done using minimally invasive methods. These are techniques that use smaller incisions and special surgical instruments and endoscopes.
Because of the smaller incisions, these procedures cause less tissue damage and reduce the likelihood of complications such as blood loss, pain and scarring. Another advantage for patients is reduced operating time, shorter hospital stay and faster recovery.
Recovery differs between patients and surgeries. As a general guide recovery may include the following:
- One to three days in hospital up to 7 days for more complex surgeries
- No heavy lifting for the first few weeks or so (and graduated lifting restrictions thereafter)
- Some time off work in order to recover
- You may need to return to work on restricted duties for a period of time
- You may not be able to drive for a period of time
- No swimming for 4 to 6 weeks
- Pain medication as required
- Rehabilitation on occasion
- A back brace is sometimes required for a small percentage of conditions
- You may need to meet with an Occupational Therapist