Surgeons at the Cedars-Sinai Institute for Spinal Disorders describe in the August 1 issue of the journal Spine a minimally invasive approach that enables them to perform fusion surgery on the difficult-to-access upper lumbar region of the spine with a reduced risk of serious complications.
“Compared to previous options, this new approach is safer with respect to major blood vessels and abdominal organs,” said John J. Regan, M.D., co-director of the Institute. “The majority of patients experienced immediate improvement in their preoperative pain, and there were no vascular injuries or major complications.”
Minimally invasive procedures that employ thin instruments and laparoscopes with high-powered camera lenses typically result in shorter recoveries, less pain and lower risk of complications than open surgeries that require long incisions in the large muscles of the back. The preferred approach is from the front or side, sparing the back muscles entirely and positioning instruments at the forward edge of the spine where the placement of bone grafts and supportive devices help maintain the spine’s natural shape.
| Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
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