Facts About Minimally Invasive Back Surgery

Irregular Lateral Side Curvature Treatment LAEven with a number of sophisticated, state of the art improvements and developments in both the medical equipment and techniques used to perform spine surgery (hello robotic surgery!), the thought of committing to a surgical procedure, even a minimally invasive one with significantly less downtime and complications than traditional “open” back surgery, can be overwhelming for many people.

While surgery is not typically the first treatment option for most back problems, L.A. spine surgeons Dr. Sanjay Khurana and Dr. Rojeh Melikian demystify the process for patients that may be good candidates for less invasive procedures like microdiscectomy or XLIF.

There are different types of spine surgery, depending on factors like patient medical history, condition, and previous course of treatment.

Many conditions respond to conservative treatments like rest, physical therapy, and medication. Conservative methods are generally the first course of treatment, depending on the condition and the individual patient. Through detailed physical exams and medical history, and second opinions for patients that have previously undergone unsuccessful treatment, Dr. Khurana and Dr. Melikian helps each patient to decide whether surgery is the most appropriate option.

There are three basic categories of minimally invasive back surgery:

  • Motion preservation – artificial disc replacement
  • Reconstructive – scoliosis and kyphosis correction, tumor excision and reconstruction, ALIF, XLIF
  • Microscopic – microdiscectomy, microlaminectomy

Robotic spine surgery is less invasive than traditional surgery.

While it may sound like something out of a science fiction movie (or an episode of Gray’s Anatomy), far from being radical and far off in the future, Dr. Khurana and orthopedic surgeons around the country are using computerized platforms and instrumentation to offer patients less invasive surgery with fewer side effects and more precise and accurate results. The main benefits include:

  • Smaller incisions and less scarring, both at the site of incision and in terms of potential trauma to surrounding tissue
  • Less blood loss and risk of complications associated with traditional open surgery
  • Shorter hospital stays and general recovery period
  • Improved function and post surgical results

Not a Silver Bullet – Lifestyle Factors Still Matter

While robotic spine surgery and less invasive techniques have revolutionized how many back injuries and chronic pain are treated, patients will still have to employ sensible lifestyle modifications, such as regular exercise that is appropriate for their physical condition, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding habits like smoking, which can lead to or exacerbate spine conditions like degenerative disc disease.

Los Angeles Spine Surgery

Do you suffer from chronic back pain caused by an injury or a spine condition like degenerative disc disease or a herniated disc? Contact board-certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Sanjay Khurana and Dr. Rojeh Melikian at the Los Angeles Spine Group at 310.321.4333 to learn more about minimally invasive treatment options, and to schedule a consultation today.

Next, read New Year’s Resolutions for Back Pain Sufferers


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The information available on this web site is provided for informational purposes only. This information is not intended to replace a medical consultation where a physician's judgment may advise you about specific disorders, conditions and or treatment options. We hope the information will be useful for you to become more educated about your health care decisions.