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Traditional Open Surgery Versus Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

At some point, most Americans experience a back injury or a condition that causes back pain. Research shows that approximately 80% suffer from low back pain at some point. 

Understand, back pain is not always caused by conditions such as arthritis or result from an injury. Though back pain does not always require surgery, it is an option to find relief and enhance functioning. 

Back surgery was traditionally performed as an open procedure where surgeons made a large incision into the back or abdomen to correct the condition. Recently, minimally invasive spine surgery has emerged as a better option for patients. 

This article will address what you need to know about open surgery and minimally invasive surgery to address back pain. 


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What You Need to Know About Open Spinal Surgery

With traditional open spinal surgery, the surgeon will make a large incision in the back. This allows them to dissect the spinal muscles, pulling them away from the bone, called retraction. 

Once the surgeon can visualize the spine’s bones, they complete the procedure. Some traditional spinal surgeries require that a large incision be made in the abdomen to complete the surgery. 

Open spinal surgery requires the patient to be under anesthesia. They result in a large incision. They also often lead to lengthy hospitalization and longer recovery times versus minimally invasive surgery. 

What You Need to Know About Minimally Invasive Surgery

Surgeons use specialized instruments through small incisions near the spine with minimally invasive spinal surgery. The benefit is less chance of injury to the muscles and soft tissues around the spine. 

Other benefits for minimally invasive spine surgery include: 

  • Smaller incisions
  • Less pain after surgery
  • Little or no muscle cutting
  • Shorter hospital stays and can usually be performed at an outpatient surgery center.
  • Less risk of infection
  • Faster recovery

When Can a Surgeon Perform a Minimally Invasive Spinal Procedure?

Most spinal surgeries can be performed using minimally invasive techniques. Common surgeries include:

  • Spinal fusions
  • Deformity corrections such as with scoliosis or kyphosis
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Repair and stabilization after spinal trauma
  • Infections of the spine
  • Decompression of spinal tumors   

How do I know if I am a Candidate for Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery?

Most, but not all, patients are candidates for minimally invasive spinal surgery. Your surgeon will discuss with you if traditional surgery is necessary for an effective outcome. 

However, only your spine care team can determine the best surgical option for you through evaluation and assessment. 

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How Our Orthopedic Surgery Center in Raleigh Can Help You 

At Raleigh Orthopaedic Surgery Center, we commit to providing the best treatment for orthopedic conditions. 

Our professional staff works together to achieve the best possible outcomes for you. The Raleigh Orthopaedic Surgery Center has board-certified surgeons and physicians with advanced training in their respective sub-specialties. 

At Raleigh Orthopaedic Clinic, we perform more than 4,000 outpatient orthopedic procedures annually.

You are not only a patient to us. You are an individual with exceptional circumstances, requirements, and needs. 

If you would like more information, please feel free to give us a call at 919-719-3070

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.