According to the surgeon who conducted the lecture, just about any back surgery can be done using the "minimally invasive" technique. It sounds very similar to the laparoscopic surgeries in that an x-raying machine is used in conjunction with the procedure.
The difference from the old-style (name escapes me) surgery versus the minimally invasive surgery is the learning curve involved with the new technology. The old school surgeons & those teaching the young residents really don't want to have to learn a whole new method of doing things.
With medical technology continuously advancing, we can only hope that some day spine problems won't be so problematic & perhaps might then be more easily addressed as musculoskeletal issues are in other areas of the body.
Hello fellow sufferers, This past week I attended a seminar advertised in our local paper on the subject of minimally invasive spinal surgery. Although I'm not yet a candidate for such surgery, I thought I would attend the seminar just the same as I like to become as educated as possible on the subject of treatments available.
The doctor giving the seminar was young & shared quite a bit of interesting information on the subject. It's still a new field & the doctor stated that it's tough attracting other doctors to this technology as the learning curve is a long one.
The doctor said that at present, only 15% of spinal surgeries are done using this technique. He was quite convincing with many success stories of various surgeries performed on a variety of ages with many successful results. In most cases, the procedure was performed on an out-patient basis with the patient going home the same or following day.
From a cosmetic prospective, the incisions were slight.
On the whole, it was very encouraging, If & when the time comes that I may need surgery on my degenerative spine, I believe I will choose this method.
Hello backbreaking, I had to chuckle reading your post as it reminded me of a comment JFK made during his presidency. Although he appeared to look healthy, he had his share of medical problems, some of which left him in chronic pain. In response to his pain, he once commented that he would drink "horse piss" if it were to help him.
Obviously those of us dealing with chronic pain can become desperate for relief. Please be sure to thoroughly research any new med, etc. that you may be considering. Often the side effects just aren't worth it.
In view of the recent news of meningitis resulting from contaminated steroid shots given for back pain, I'm wondering about the difference between the two treatments, Radiofrequency Ablation & Steroid Shots.
I understand the difference between the two procedures however, can someone (Joy?) enlighten me as to why a patient would opt for one treatment over the other.
Hello lotusblossum, A possible explanation of your symptoms could be Fibromyalgia. If you research this disorder online you will become quite educated on the subject. It's a tough one to diagnose as the symptoms are many & often mimic other conditions.
You mentioned you plan to visit your doctor & that is the place to start for any proper diagnosis.
Kudos to you for your academic achievement however, inactivity is inexcusable. Discuss with your doctor a gentle exercise program you can gradually get into as this is crucial for good health.
Hello Dave, I'm going to make the same request to you as you did to livingbetter & that is, please let us know how your wife makes out with her RFA treatment.
I continue to give it serious thought but have reservations due to fears. The amount of radiation with the fluoroscopy (is that the correct machine used?) is one of those fears. I realize each of us may react differently to treatments & I try to keep an open mind while contemplating this treatment for my lower back pains.
Best wishes to your wife for a successful outcome. We look forward to hearing all about it.
Hello Garywil, You are so correct in stating that negative stories are more commonly shared than positive ones. Although most of us are aware that surgery for the back is usually the very last option, your successful outcome is an inspiration for those of us who may either be near that point now or know that their future will most likely hold the need for such surgery.
Walking is one of the best exercises for every condition & certainly should be included in a daily regimen, provided one is mobile enough to walk. It's inexpensive, enjoyable & when done out of doors it can be so much more fun.
Thank you for your inspiration & for taking the time out to share a positive outcome.