Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery is a type of surgery on the bones of your spine which uses smaller incisions than standard surgery. Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery often causes less harm to nearby muscles and other tissues and leads to less pain and faster recovery.

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Advantages of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Our Neurosurgeons utilize minimally invasive spine surgery techniques to perform several spinal procedures through skin punctures or incisions less than 1-inch long. Minimally invasive spine surgery is used to treat herniated discs, spinal stenosis, sciatica, and some types of spinal deformity. Many of these procedures are performed on an outpatient basis.

Instead of long incisions and extensive tissue disruption, minimally invasive surgery can be done via a percutaneous (through the skin) or mini-open (operating through a small incision) approach.  These cutting-edge, muscle sparing procedures use customized instruments, innovative imaging techniques and a microscope for optimal visualization. Surgery is performed by passing instruments through a special tubular retractor to the operative field, using x-ray and microscope guidance.

Generally, the outcomes of procedures performed minimally invasively mimic outcomes of open spine surgery that require long incisions and soft tissue retraction. Advantages of minimally invasive spine surgery include:

  • Reduced operative time
  • Less soft tissue damage due to reduced muscle retraction
  • Reduced blood loss
  • Surgical incisions are less painful and heal faster
  • Recovery is faster with less post-operative pain
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Smaller, cosmetically pleasing, incisions
Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement

What is a Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement?

A Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement (ADR) is an innovative procedure used to treat damaged discs in the cervical spine that are causing neck pain as well as pain and numbness in the extremities.  Similar to a hip or knee replacement procedure, the goal of a Cervical ADR is to use an implant that mimics the function of a healthy spinal disc and also allows for range of motion in the neck. Unlike a traditional spinal fusion, no plates or screws are attached to the spine and thus motion of the cervical spine is preserved.  

Cervical ADR may be recommended when more conservative treatment options have failed to provide relief for conditions such as a herniated disc and cervical radiculopathy. At Elite Brain and Spine, our Board Certified Neurosurgeons are experts in Cervical ADR surgery and have helped thousands of patients return to an active and healthy lifestyle after this procedure.  

How is a Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement Performed at Elite Brain and Spine?

At Elite Brain and Spine, a Cervical ADR is often performed as an outpatient procedure so that you can return home the same day as your procedure.

During a Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement procedure:

  1. Incision. A small incision is made along natural skin folds on the front of the neck.
  2. Disc removal. The damaged disc and pieces of arthritic bone compressing the spinal nerves are removed.
  3. Implant insertion. Disc height is restored and the artificial disc is placed between adjacent vertebrae.

Using our advanced minimally invasive techniques, there is very little surgical trauma and you are able to recover and return to normal activities shortly after surgery.

Minimally Invasive Discectomy (Microdiscectomy)

What is Minimally Invasive Discectomy (Microdiscectomy)? 

A Minimally Invasive Discectomy (Microdiscectomy) is a surgical procedure that uses a very small incision (usually less than one inch), a microscope and small surgical tools to remove portions of the intervertebral disc(s) that are compressing the spinal nerves in the lower back. 

A Microdiscectomy is most often used to treat the symptoms of a herniated disc that do not respond to nonsurgical treatment options. A microdiscectomy is especially effective in treating sciatica—a burning pain that runs from the hip to the back of the thigh and legs and sciatica relief usually occurs very quickly after surgery 

At Elite Brain and Spine, our Board Certified Neurosurgeons are experts in Microdiscectomy surgery and have helped thousands of patients return to an active and healthy lifestyle after this procedure. 

How Microdiscectomy Surgery is Performed 

At Elite Brain and Spine, a Microdiscectomy is usually performed as an outpatient procedure so that you can return home the same day as your procedure. 

Steps used to perform the procedure include: 

  1. Incision. A small one-inch incision is made along the lower back. 
  2. Exposure. Muscles are gently retracted so the compressed nerve can be viewed. 
  3. Discectomy. Tiny instruments and microscopic guidance are used to remove pieces of the disc and arthritic bone. 
  4. Closure. Stitches and adhesive strips close the incision. 

Using our advanced minimally invasive techniques, there is very little surgical trauma and you are able to recover and return to normal activities shortly after surgery. 

Minimally Invasive Cervical Spinal Fusion (ACDF)

What is a Minimally Invasive Cervical Fusion (ACDF)?

A Minimally Invasive Cervical Fusion is also commonly referred to as an ACDF and is used to treat chronic pain, nerve compression and/or instability that originates in the cervical spine. This procedure is typically recommended when cervical spine conditions do not respond to conservative treatment options.

Although ACDF’s were historically performed with an open incision, at Elite Brain and Spine our advanced technology and training allow most ACDF’s to be performed in a minimally invasive fashion. This means a much smaller incision is used, less surgical trauma occurs and recovery time is shortened. 

The Board Certified Neurosurgeons at Elite Brain and Spine are experts in Minimally Invasive Cervical Spinal Fusion procedures and have helped thousands of patients return to an active and healthy lifestyle following this procedure.

How is a Minimally Invasive Cervical Fusion (ACDF) Performed at Elite Brain and Spine?

At Elite Brain and Spine, an ACDF may be performed as either an inpatient or outpatient procedure based on your Spine Surgeons recommendation. If the procedure is performed on an inpatient basis, the hospital stay is usually only 1-2 days.

During an ACDF procedure:

  1. Incision. A small 1-2 inch incision is made in the front or back of the neck (depending upon your specific condition).
  2. Exposure. Muscles are gently retracted so the cervical spine can be viewed.
  3. Discectomy. Tiny instruments are used to carefully remove the damaged disc.
  4. Implant insertion. A bone graft packed spacer is inserted between adjacent vertebrae. 
  5. Fusion. Small rods and/or plates and screws are used to fixate adjacent vertebrae.

Using our advanced minimally invasive techniques, there is very little surgical trauma and you are able to recover and return to normal activities shortly after surgery.

Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion (ALIF, PLIF, TLIF, XLIF)

What is Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion? 

Open incision spinal fusion procedures have been performed for many years, however recent advancements in spine surgery at Elite Brain and Spine have allowed our Board Certified Neurosurgeons to perform spinal fusion procedures in a minimally invasive manner. With this technique, a smaller incision is used, less surgical trauma is caused and recovery is much quicker. 

Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion procedures are used to treat a damaged intervertebral disc and/or a compressed nerve root that causes back and neck pain that may radiate into the extremities. 

At Elite Brain and Spine, our Board Certified Neurosurgeons have helped thousands of patients return to an active and healthy lifestyle after a Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion. 

How Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion is Performed

At Elite Brain and Spine, a Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion can be performed either as an outpatient or an inpatient procedure based on what you and your Elite Brain and Spine surgeon feel is best for you. 

During a Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion procedure: 

  1. The disc is removed. The damaged or herniated intervertebral disc is removed. 
  2. The disc is replaced. A bone graft filled implant is carefully placed between adjacent vertebrae. 
  3. The implant is fixated. Rods or plates and screws fixate adjacent vertebrae so they may fuse to form a single solid bone. 

Depending upon your unique condition there are several types of Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion approaches: 

  • Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) 
  • Posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) 
  • Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) 
  • Lateral lumbar interbody fusion (XLIF)
Minimally Invasive Laminectomy

What is a Minimally Invasive Laminectomy?

A Minimally Invasive Laminectomy (also known as a Spinal Decompression) is a procedure used to relieve the pain from a pinched nerve in the spine.  This is done by removing part of the spinal vertebrae, known as the lamina, so that the spinal nerve can be decompressed and pain can be relieved.

Although laminectomies were historically performed with an open incision, at Elite Brain and Spine our advanced technology and training allow most laminectomies to be performed in a minimally invasive fashion. This means a much smaller incision is used, less surgical trauma occurs and recovery time is shortened. 

This procedure is often used to treat conditions including:

  • Sciatica 
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Bone spurs

How is a Minimally Invasive Laminectomy Performed at Elite Brain and Spine?

At Elite Brain and Spine, a Minimally Invasive Laminectomy is typically performed as an outpatient procedure so that you can return home the same day as your procedure.

During a Minimally Invasive Laminectomy:

  1. A small incision is made over the affected vertebrae
  2. Small instruments are used to remove the lamina
  3. Portions of the damaged intervertebral disc and/or arthritic bone are removed
  4. Sutures and adhesive strips are used to close the incision

Using our advanced minimally invasive techniques, there is very little surgical trauma and you are able to recover and return to normal activities shortly after surgery. 

Foraminotomy

What is a Foraminotomy?

The foramen are small openings on either side of the spine where the spinal nerves pass through. In a healthy spine, the intervertebral discs create enough space between vertebrae to allow the nerves to pass through freely.  But conditions such as a herniated disc, spinal stenosis degenerative disc disease or other spinal conditions can cause the openings of the foramen to become narrowed and compress the spinal nerves.  

A foraminotomy is a minimally invasive procedure that makes the foramen wider by removing small pieces of bone, spinal disc or tissue that are narrowing the openings.  When the nerve is decompressed, symptoms such as pain, burning or tingling in the extremities and weakness in the extremities are alleviated.

How is a Foramintomy Performed at Elite Brain and Spine?

At Elite Brain and Spine, a foraminotomy is performed as an outpatient procedure and you are able to return home the same day as your procedure.

During a foraminotomy procedure:

  1. Incision. A small incision (usually 1 inch) is made in the area near the affected spinal discs and vertebrae.  The spinal muscles and other structures are gently moved to the side.
  2. Decompression. Small surgical tools and surgical microscopes are used to remove the damaged disc material or bone spurs from the foramen. This allows the spinal nerves within the foramen to no longer be compressed.

Using our advanced minimally invasive techniques, there is very little surgical trauma and you are able to recover and return to normal activities shortly after surgery. 

Cervical Corpectomy

How is a Cervical Corpectomy Performed at Elite Brain and Spine?

At Elite Brain and Spine, this procedure most often uses an anterior (from the front) approach to access the spinal discs and vertebrae.  However, your Elite Brain and Spine Surgeon will discuss the best approach based on your specific condition and symptoms.  This procedure can also be performed either as an inpatient or outpatient procedure based on your health and how many levels of the spine need to be treated.

During a Cervical Corpectomy procedure:

  1. Incision. A small incision (usually 1 inch) is made in the area near the affected spinal discs and vertebrae.  The spinal muscles and other structures are gently moved to the side.
  2. Decompression. Small surgical tools and surgical microscopes are used to remove the damaged disc material and vertebrae.  This allows the spinal cord or spinal nerves to no longer be compressed.
  3. Spinal fusion.  A small implant packed with bone graft is inserted into the space where the disc was removed.  Small plates and screws are attached to the vertebrae above and below.

Using our advanced minimally invasive techniques, there is very little surgical trauma and you are able to recover and return to normal activities shortly after surgery. 

 

Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty

What are Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty?

Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty (also known as a Balloon Kyphoplasty) are minimally invasive procedures used to treat spinal compression fractures which are usually the result of osteoporosis or an accident.  

When vertebrae are fractured, small pieces of bone can irritate spinal nerves or the spinal cord and cause pain and other symptoms. The goal of both Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty is to fuse these bones by using biological cement to fill the spaces between the fracture.

The Spine Team at Elite Brain and Spine has helped thousands of patients with spinal fractures return to an active and healthy lifestyle using a Vertebroplasty or Kyphoplasty procedure.

How are Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty Performed at Elite Brain and Spine?

At Elite Brain and Spine, both Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty are performed on an outpatient basis so that you are able to return home the same day as your procedure. In many cases, only a local anesthetic is needed for this procedure.

There is a small difference between the two procedures and your Elite Brain and Spine Specialist will determine which is best based on your unique condition.

Vertebroplasty. A small needle is inserted in the area of the spinal fracture and a biological cement mixture is injected into the fracture.  

Kyphoplasty. A small needle is inserted in the area of the spinal fracture.  A small balloon is then inserted into the fractured vertebrae and carefully inflated to create space between the fractured portions (hence Balloon Kyphoplasty).  Biological cement is then injected into the space and the balloon is carefully removed.

Little to no discomfort is experienced during or after the procedure and you are allowed to return home shortly after. 

Opiate/Baclofen Pump Procedure

What is an Opiate/Baclofen Pump Procedure?

An Opiate/Baclofen Pump Procedure is a minimally invasive procedure that is used to relieve chronic pain. The goal of this procedure is to send pain medications or muscle relaxers to the spinal cord using a small pump and catheter. Once the pump and catheter are in place, medications are released to the area around the spinal cord. 

Chronic pain has been treated for many years using oral medications that can be addictive and have side effects but, at Elite Brain and Spine, modern surgical techniques allow medications to be delivered directly to the pain source. This means less medication is needed and fewer side effects are experienced. 

How is an Opiate/Baclofen Pump Procedure Performed at Elite Brain and Spine? 

In most cases, an Opiate/Baclofen Pump Procedure is performed as an outpatient procedure by the Board Certified Neurosurgeons at Elite Brain and Spine. 

During an Opiate/Baclofen Procedure the following steps are performed:

 

  1. Catheter placement. A tiny incision is made in the middle of the back and the catheter is carefully placed near the spinal cord.
  2. Pump placement. A tiny incision is made on the abdomen and the pump is attached to the catheter and placed under the abdominal skin.

The incisions are carefully closed and covered with dressings. 

Total procedure time is usually 2-3 hours and patients are able to return home the same day as their procedure. 

The Board Certified Neurosurgeons at Elite Brain and Spine have performed thousands of an Opiate/Baclofen Pump Procedures and are experts in this procedure. 

Revision Spine Surgery

What is Revision Spine Surgery?

Revision spine surgery is sometimes needed to correct issues that resulted from a previous spine surgery.  Although uncommon, screws, plates or other implants used in a prior surgery can cause pain or other symptoms.  This is primarily due to either the spine not healing correctly after surgery or the implants themselves were not placed correctly.

In other instances, the implants used in a previous surgery cause what is known as Adjacent Level Segment Disease, which causes the discs or vertebrae above or below the original surgical area to become weakened.  These vertebrae or discs need to be treated surgically to relieve pain and other symptoms.

At Elite Brain and Spine, our Board Certified Neurosurgeons use the latest advancements in surgical techniques and technology to minimize the need for revision spine surgery.  Our Neurosurgeons have been trusted by countless patients to correct complications that arose from previous spine surgeries at other medical practices and hospitals.

How is Revision Spine Surgery Performed at Elite Brain and Spine?

How revision spine surgery is performed is based on what is causing pain and other symptoms.  If the implants from a previous surgery are pressing on a spinal nerve, these implants may be removed, repositioned or reimplanted to alleviate the pressure on the spinal nerve.

If the disc or vertebrae above or below the original surgical area is affected, a spinal fusion may be extended to also stabilize those vertebrae or discs.

Your Elite Brain and Spine Neurosurgeons will thoroughly evaluate your previous surgery to develop a surgical plan that is unique to your condition.

Spinal Cord Stimulator

What is a Spinal Cord Stimulator Procedure?

A Spinal Cord Stimulator Procedure is a minimally invasive procedure that is used to relieve back and extremity pain. The goal of this procedure is to stop pain signals to the brain using a spinal cord stimulator and electrodes. Once the stimulator and electrodes are in place, they are programmed to stimulate the nerves, which blocks pain signals to the brain.

Back and extremity pain was treated for many years using open incision procedures but, at Elite Brain and Spine modern surgical techniques allow many procedures, including a spinal cord stimulator procedure, to be performed minimally invasively using a small surgical camera and small surgical tools.

How is a Spinal Cord Stimulator Procedure Performed at Elite Brain and Spine? 

In most cases, a Spinal Cord Stimulator Procedure is performed as an outpatient procedure by the Board Certified Neurosurgeons at Elite Brain and Spine. 

During a Spinal Cord Stimulator Procedure the following steps are performed:

 

  1. Incision. A tiny incision is made in the back.
  2. Stimulator placement. Space is created and the stimulator is placed near the spine. The electrodes are placed in the spinal cord.
  3. Programing the stimulator. The stimulator is programmed to send the proper signal strength and frequency through the electrodes. 

The incision is carefully closed and covered with dressings. 

Total procedure time is usually 1 hour and patients are able to return home the same day as their procedure. 

The Board Certified Neurosurgeons at Elite Brain and Spine have performed thousands of Spinal Cord Stimulator Procedures and are experts in this procedure.

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