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Arthroscopic Spine Surgery Explained

Arthroscopic Spine Surgery Explained

Arthroscopic spine surgery is a minimally invasive laser surgery procedure that can be used to treat a wide variety of spinal problems.  Because it is so much less invasive than traditional surgical procedures, arthroscopic spine surgery means a much shorter recovery time for the patient and less pain and suffering during the recivery process.  This makes it a popular choice for people who have too much going on in their lives to handle a long down time after surgery.

Many of the arthroscopic spine surgery techniques and procedures in use today were pioneered by an orthopedic surgeon named Arthur Bonati in the mid to late 1980′s.  You will often hear some of these procedures referred to as Bonati Spine Procedures in recognition of the man who made them a reality.  Today, many differen laser surgery centers can perform arthroscopic spine surgery on patients suffering from many different problems.

Some of the common conditions that are now treatable via arthroscopic spine surgery are sciatica, bone spurs, herniated discs, pinched nerves and spinal stenosis.  In many cases, laser surgery procedures can even be used to repair damage done by previous failed back surgeries as well.  Conditions that were once difficult to treat can now be taken care of quickly, easily, and with much shorter revoery periods than ever before.

Instead of having the entire back opened as in traditional back surgery, arthroscopic back surgery is performed using an endoscope inserted through a small incision.  This allows the surgeon to see the problem and visualize the entire procedure without having to do any serious damage to the muscle and tissue surrounding the spine.  There is less bleeding and far less pain for the patient this way.  Arthroscopic spine surgery is in most cases completed in less than an hour under a general anesthetic and the patient will be back up on their feet much faster than with open back surgery which takes longer, requires more after care and usually requires a lot more drugs to manage pain and inflammation in the surgical site.

Arthroscopic spine surgery is generally recommended only for those patients whose condition can be successfully treated in this manner.  There are some spinal conditions that will not benefit from this type of laser procedure and for whom much more involved surgery is required.  Your doctor can help you to determine which type of surgery is the best choice to take care of your back problem.  As with any surgical procedure there are some risks associated with arthroscopic spine surgery – although they are generally considered to be less than with a traditional surgery.    Your doctor should outline for you all of the potential risks of the procedure you are considering before you go ahead with it.

For many patients who have been suffering with back pain, arthroscopic spine surgery is an excellent option for a faster and easier procedure and recovery.  Be sure to locate a surgeon who is experienced with the procedure and has a good reputation before you go ahead with the surgery.

Photo courtesy of fueg0.

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