Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery Options in Manhattan

Today, advances in spine surgery mean more treatment options for patients dealing with various spine conditions. With minimally invasive spinal surgery techniques, patients enjoy a number of benefits, including smaller incisions, reduced risk of complications and shorter hospital stays, among other things. While not an appropriate treatment option in every case, there are numerous spinal conditions that may be suitable for this less invasive type of spinal procedure.

Fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon, Dr. Firas Chamas at NY Orthopedics’ Spine Center, is a top provider of minimally invasive spinal surgery in Manhattan. Here’s an overview of some of the different treatment options he offers and when they might be recommended.

 

What is minimally invasive spinal surgery?

Minimally invasive spinal surgery, also known as MISS, is a type of spine surgery that’s performed through small incisions while using a specialized hollow tube called a tubular retractor. Using this tool, a spine surgeon is able to both visualize and treat the targeted area while causing less trauma to the surrounding tissue and muscles. Surgical instruments can be inserted through the retractor and the entire procedure is often guided by fluoroscopy—a type of real-time X-ray. Using this technique, a skilled orthopedic spine surgeon can repair and treat the affected area with great precision.

 

What is minimally invasive spine surgery used for?

It’s important to understand that minimally invasive spine surgery is not an appropriate treatment option in every case. After a thorough evaluation, an experienced orthopedic spine surgeon will be able to determine the most appropriate type of surgery for your needs.

Here are some of the conditions that may be amenable to minimally invasive spine surgery:

Degenerative Disc Disease
Also known as degenerative disc disorder or DDD, this is a condition that involves changes in the spinal discs due to aging. Over time, the spinal discs between vertebrae can lose their cushioning, become fragmented or move out of place. DDD can result in conditions including herniated discs, spinal stenosis and osteoarthritis.

Herniated Discs
This condition occurs when the soft center of an intervertebral spinal disc pushes through the tough layer of its exterior casing. Herniated discs often occur in the lower (lumbar) region of the back.

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
This is a condition characterized by narrowing of the openings in the vertebrae of the lumbar region, through which the spinal cord and spinal nerves run. This compression can lead to pain, numbness, or weakness in various places, such as the legs or neck.

Spinal Instability
A condition that is characterized by an abnormal amount of movement between the vertebrae, often due to disc degeneration.

Radiculopathy
This is defined as a disease in the root of a nerve, which can include several different types, with the most common ones being sciatica and lumbar radiculopathy.

Vertebral Compression Fractures
These are fractures in the spine that occur due to the total or partial collapse of a vertebra. This is most often caused by osteoporosis, but a fracture can also result from a hard fall or traumatic injury.

Scoliosis
This condition is defined as a spine that has abnormal curvature, which can range in severity and commonly develops in the chest (thoracic) region or lumbar region.

Spinal Tumors
In some cases, spinal tumors (both malignant and benign) can be resected using minimally invasive spinal surgery.

 

What are some types of minimally invasive spinal surgery?

Some of the different types of spine surgery that can be performed with minimally invasive techniques include:

  • Discectomy
  • Foraminotomy
  • Laminectomy
  • Spinal fusion
  • Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF)
  • Kyphoplasty

 

What are the advantages of minimally invasive spinal surgery?

Like other types of minimally invasive surgery, MISS has a number of advantages, including:

  • Smaller incisions
  • Less scarring
  • Less damage to surrounding muscles
  • Less tissue dissection
  • Less blood loss
  • Potential for less complications during surgery and post-surgery
  • Potential for quicker healing, a shorter hospital stay and less postoperative pain
  • Potential for less downtime and a faster return to normal activities

However, minimally invasive spinal surgery is still surgery and should not be considered unless it is the best treatment option for a patient’s needs. In some cases, non-operative therapies, which might include treatments such as pain injections, or traditional spine surgery may still be the best approach. A skilled spine surgeon will consider a patient’s unique needs, in addition to all of the benefits and potential disadvantages of minimally invasive spinal surgery before making a recommendation.

Some potential disadvantages of minimally invasive spine surgery include:

  • Potential for longer operating time
  • May involve more radiation exposure than traditional spine surgery
  • Not an effective treatment option for every case
  • Involves less surface area exposure of bone, which can be a drawback in some fusion cases

 

Where can I find a Manhattan spine surgeon who specializes in minimally invasive spinal surgery?

When dealing with a spinal condition or chronic back pain, it is critical to see a spine surgeon in Manhattan who has expertise in a wide array of invasive and non-invasive techniques. Dr. Firas Chamas’ extensive experience in treating all types of spinal disorders, including using minimally invasive spinal surgery techniques, enables him to tailor an optimal treatment plan for each individual patient. Dr. Chamas received his M.D. and Ph.D. from New York Medical College before completing a fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University Hospital. In addition to his experience in minimally invasive techniques of spine surgery, he has also pioneered minimally invasive approaches to lumbo-pelvic fixation in the treatment of complex sacral fractures and tumors.

If you are suffering from a spinal problem that requires surgery, speak with an orthopedic spine surgeon in Manhattan who can determine whether minimally invasive spinal surgery is an appropriate option for your needs. Get started by scheduling a consultation with Dr. Firas Chamas at NY Orthopedics today.

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Dr. Jose Rodriguez is no longer practicing at New York Orthopedics as of March 31, 2017. For a full list of our doctors, please visit this page.