Spine Surgery

Neck and back issues are some of the leading reasons patients visit doctors. Issues stemming from the spine are both common and painful. Spinal pathology such as spinal stenosis, radiculopathy, or herniated discs can impact almost every aspect of a patient’s life. Pain arising from the spine and nerves can cause patients to abandon hobbies and avoid daily activities they once enjoyed.

If you suffer from nerve pain, there are multiple treatment options to help improve your symptoms. Non-surgical (or conservative) treatment options such as medications, injections, and physical therapy often are able to control painful symptoms. When conservative treatments have been exhausted, spine surgery is an effective option to combat painful conditions.

Traditional Open Surgery

Traditional open surgery, as the name implies, is the most common technique to treat neck and back spinal issues. It consists of exposing the spine through a midline incision and lifting muscle off the bone in order for the surgeon to visualize all aspects of the spine. A larger, more extensile exposure disrupts the surrounding muscle. A larger skin incision is needed for the surgeon to visualize important structures and safely perform surgery. Traditional open surgery also has increased inherent risks of infection, bleeding, and pain due to the larger surgical incisions needed. Traditional open surgery is still commonly utilized for most spinal pathology, and when needed, offers excellent outcomes.

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Minimally invasive spine surgeries (MISS) seek to address conditions affecting the spine in a focused manner without the need for larger dissections involved with open procedures.  Innovations in diagnostic imaging and surgical techniques have allowed surgeons to now treat certain spinal conditions with MISS that were otherwise only treated with open procedures.  This allows surgeons to make smaller incisions and disrupt less tissue while correcting the problem. There are many benefits to using the minimally invasive approach, including less immediate post-operative pain, decreased soft tissue injury, and less bleeding. All leading to faster recovery time and reduced risk of infection.

Choosing a Spinal Surgeon

The internet allows patients to research healthcare providers within their insurance network and make informed decisions regarding selecting a provider. There are many factors that influence medical care decisions: location, bedside manner, online reviews, training background, and experience. At South Shore Orthopedics, we provide care that is second to none. The providers take a tremendous amount of pride in providing a high level of care to people throughout the South Shore community. Still, many patients consider seeking orthopedic care at one of the large medical institutions in Boston. Some conditions, such as complex cancer care, do require attention at a tertiary care center. However, common conditions around the Spine – disc herniations and stenosis – do not require multidisciplinary care and can safely be safely managed at any institute. Traveling to Boston for medical care can be a tremendous burden on the patient and their families due to lengthy travel times, parking difficulties, and other transportation hardships. The convenience of high-quality orthopedic care should not be undervalued!