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Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery in Arizona


What are minimally invasive spine procedures?

The idea of back surgery can be frightening, but advancements in the field of spinal procedures have led to several techniques that are less invasive than traditional spine surgery.

Minimally invasive spine procedures can reduce or eliminate pain and improve mobility, health and quality of life.

Some of the benefits of these procedures over traditional back surgery include:

  • smaller incisions or injections only
  • less post-surgical pain and reduced reliance on pain medications
  • less blood loss
  • little-to-no muscle damage
  • lower risk of anesthesia-related complications
  • faster recovery


How do minimally-invasive spine procedures work?

The biggest challenge when it comes to spine surgery is that the spine is located deep within the body, protected by thick muscle at the back and hidden under major organs and blood vessels in front. With traditional spine surgery, the back must be opened up and the muscles cut or dissected in order to access the spine, creating a significant amount of soft tissue damage. Anterior (from the front) approaches spare the back muscles, but put major blood vessels and the genitourinary tract at risk.

Minimally-invasive spine surgeries protect muscles and sensitive body structures while still providing the spine surgeon access to damaged vertebrae. Some minimally-invasive procedures are designed to treat the nerves that are causing back pain.

Types of minimally-invasive spine procedures

Certain spine procedures can now be done endoscopically. Endoscopic spine surgery allows the surgeon to access and treat damaged vertebrae through a small incision using dilating tubes, guidewires and moving X-ray imaging (fluoroscopy).

A less invasive form of spinal fusion surgery is lateral access spinal fusion surgery. Lateral access involves surgically entering through the side of the body rather than the back or front, which greatly reduces damage and risk to soft tissues and also allows for the placement of very large interbody implants that restore space between vertebrae.

Injections for pain management such as medial branch blocks and epidural injections help identify and treat the nerve or nerves that are causing pain. In some cases, once the troublesome nerves are identified, radiofrequency rhizotomy may be used to permanently disable them.

Why Having Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery in Arizona Matters

Every decision regarding whether or not to have surgery is a big one. From the perspective of the patient, there are no “minor” or “routine” procedures, as everyday people simply do not experience this sort of thing every day. That said, the advancements described above are just one of several reasons to have a minimally invasive spine procedure (our expert team is another!) The risks are lower than they were 20 or 30 years ago for most patients, the recovery times from these newer procedures can be much faster and the ultimate results can be much better.

Even if you put all of that aside, the bottom line is that few if any things are more debilitating than ongoing, severe back pain. Unlike most other areas of the body, back pain can all but destroy your ability to move, your ability to sit, your ability to sleep and just about any other daily activity that people without back problems usually take for granted. You don’t have to suffer in a similar manner if you, for instance, have a bad ankle or wrist. Minimally invasive spine surgery in Arizona with our expert team can almost literally give you a new lease on life.

Another aspect to consider with regards to having minimally invasive back surgery is the reputation of your surgeon. The Desert Spine and Scoliosis Center has earned top grades from patients who have trusted us with their health – we recommend considering us for non-invasive back surgery in Phoenix. We work only with the best interests of the patient in mind at all times. If you’d like to learn more about what we can do to help you, please contact our office to schedule a consultation.