Traditional Open Surgery
The biggest drawback of an open surgery is that the pulling apart of muscles damages them as well as the adjoining soft tissues. Hence, there is a greater risk of muscle injury which may increase the healing time. Also, the larger the incision is, the higher is the risk of infection and bleeding.
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Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MISS)This technique was developed in order to reduce the muscle damage caused by the open surgery technique. In this technique helps the surgeon to reach the damaged area with comparatively smaller incision. As the size of the incision decreases so does the bleeding and risk of infections.
The most commonly used technique to perform minimally invasive laser spine surgery uses a tubular retractor. The surgeon makes a small incision in the abdomen through which the tubular retractor is inserted down to the spinal column. The tubular retractor creates a tunnel to the area where the problem exists. The surgeon accesses the spine using small instruments that can fit into the retractor. Materials required for the surgery, like screws, are inserted through the retractor. Any material to be removed from the spine is taken out through the retractor. Some of the surgeries may also require more than one retractor and thus more than one incision.With removal of the retractor muscles return to their normal position. Real time x-ray of the patient’s spine helps the surgeon to calculate the position of the incision and retractor. This real time x-ray imaging is known as fluoroscopy.