Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

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What is Minimally Invasive Anterior/Posterior Lumbar Fusion?

Minimally Invasive Anterior/Posterior Lumbar Fusion, also known as Mini 360-Degree Lumbar Fusion, is a spinal surgery commonly performed for fusing the lumbar vertebrae from anterior as well as the posterior side of the spine. In this procedure, small incisions are made anterior in the abdominal area and posterior in the lower back area. Using smaller incisions results in less pain, quicker recovery, less bleeding and less muscle damage than larger open fusions. The surgery aims to stop abnormal movements at the involved level of the spine, which is producing painful symptoms.

There are many methods used for fusing the lumbar spine. However, Mini 360 Lumbar Fusion is one of the most successful methods. Typically, this surgery is performed by two surgeons – one who accesses the spine from the anterior side and another surgeon who approaches the spine from the back. Dr. Doerr specializes in Mini 360 Lumbar Fusions with Dr. Williams as the second surgeon.

Minimally Invasive Lumbar Fusion boise

When is Minimally Invasive Anterior/Posterior Lumbar Fusion recommended?

Orthopedic doctors may suggest conservative treatment options before recommending a surgery like pain medications and physical therapy. However, if the symptoms don’t improve or worsen, the doctor may recommend spinal surgery.

 

Fusing both the front and back parts of vertebrae provide a very high degree of stability for the spine and a larger surface area for the bones to fuse together. Many studies have shown that fusing both sides of the spine does lead to a high fusion rate (more than 95% of these surgeries lead to solid fusion). Also, according to some surgeons, if fusion is achieved through anterior as well as posterior approach, the patient can be mobilized earlier during the post-operative period.

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Conditions that can be treated by Minimally Invasive Anterior/Posterior Lumbar Fusion

This type of surgery may be necessary to treat the following conditions:

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Infection or tumor of the lumbar spine
  • Fracture of the lumbar spine
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Minimally Invasive Lumbar Fusion boise

What to Expect During Recovery

The hospital stay is usually 1 to 2 days. After the surgery, you may feel some pain. The doctor will also prescribe some pain medications to prevent post-operative pain and discomfort. The fusion of bones takes time. It may take several months for the bones to fuse completely, although your comfort level will improve faster. During the healing time, the spine should be kept in proper alignment. You will be asked to wear a brace or a corset to restrict bending and promote healing of the spine. You will be taught by the healthcare team how to sit, stand, walk, and reposition properly.

Your symptoms will gradually improve as well as your activity level. Initially, the doctor may recommend only light activities like walking. As you gain strength, you will be able to increase your activity level. Physical therapy is usually started 4-6 weeks after the surgery. You will be advised to avoid twisting or bending backward.

You should always call your doctor if you notice an increase in redness, bleeding, swelling or if you have a fever. During recovery, it is very important to follow your doctor’s instructions about work, exercise, physical therapy, diet and follow-up visits.

Orthopedic Specialists

Timothy Doerr, MD has a passion for helping others. Our staff has a combined 50+ years of orthopedic excellence dedicated to the people of the Boise area. All of our surgeons are board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.

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If you are in pain from an injury or dealing with a chronic condition, our orthopedic specialists are here to help.

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