Feb 10, 2015

Minimally invasive surgery is a popular trend. When we talk about minimally invasive cervical spine surgery, it describes an operation on the cervical spine (neck) that leaves minimal residuals from surgery. The advantage is that if a patient has arm pain and numbness from a degenerative process like arthritis, or a herniated disc, we can address it with less invasive techniques.

The operation involves making a small incision, removing some bone from the back of the neck, and opening up the channel where the nerve is being pinched. If the nerve pinch is from a disc herniation, then part of the disc is trimmed.

The operation usually takes about 45 to 90 minutes. We use a microscope and neuro-monitoring techniques to reduce risk during the surgery.

This less invasive surgery requires less bracing and does not limit options like a fusion or disc replacement in the future. Because the recovery time is faster, patients can return to unrestricted activity more quickly.

The surgery works best in patients where the pinching of the nerve is more lateral or to the side, not towards the middle where the spinal cord can be pinched. If a patient has instability (the vertebrae move more than normal) then this surgery is not recommended.

Results from this surgery indicate that success rates are equal to the results we see with a fusion surgery or a disc replacement operation. The need for another operation later is just 5%.

If you have questions about minimally invasive cervical spine surgery, visit our website at jatanaspine.com or call us at 303-My-Spine.