Tips On How to Treat Three Conditions With Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

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In the past, a person with serious back issues would have to undergo an intensive surgical procedure that could lead to a lengthy hospital stay and painful rehabilitation process. But thanks to the advent of minimally invasive spine surgery, this is no longer the case, and the specialists at DISC Sports & Spine Center are offering tips geared toward three common back problems that may be relieved using minimally invasive techniques.

By approaching spinal surgery in this manner, pain and blood loss are dramatically reduced, and a patient is usually able to head home the very same day...

One of the biggest problems with traditional spine surgeries is that the recovery could be as painful as the very condition the operation was supposed to correct. In addition to the complications possible with a major, invasive operation focused on such an integral part of the human body, outcome success was limited, and rehabilitation--even when successful--was a long and painful process.

Recent years have seen the advent of a solution in the form of minimally invasive spine surgery. The experts at DISC Sports & Spine Center are big proponents of this method of treatment due to the myriad improvements over the outdated technologies in use at so many other facilities.

Of course, all patients will go through very rigorous and exhaustive conservative measures and only when they fail these measures, surgery is then considered. Nine out of 10 patients are treated successfully without surgery and most of the time the one that needs the operation can be treated with minimally invasive surgery as outlined below.

Dr. Robert S. Bray Jr and other spine surgeons at DISC are a vocal supporter of minimally invasive spine surgery, as they believe that patients receive the best care possible when the intrusion to their spine is minimized and their recovery is sped along.

“The big thing to understand about minimally invasive spine surgery is that every effort is made to limit trauma to the spine and the area around it,” said Dr. Bray. “That means small incisions and surgery accomplished by way of microscopes, which allow for precision that would otherwise be impossible. By approaching spinal surgery in this manner, pain and blood loss are dramatically reduced, and a patient is usually able to head home the very same day and back to work and driving in a few days.”

Realizing that many people may not even realize they qualify for minimally invasive spine surgery, the doctors at DISC are offering tips for persons with three distinct spinal issues that may be easily corrected with this revolutionary method:

Herniated Disc/Sciatica - This occurs when the nuclear portion of a disc that acts as a type of cushion between each vertebrae slips out of its exterior casing, known as the annulus. This can cause nerve compression that produces intense pain radiating/shooting down the person’s leg/buttock/hip or shoulder/arms/fingers and potentially cause weakness in the area.

TIP: Herniated disc sufferers may benefit from a microdiscectomy designed to take away the damaged sections of the disc, while leaving the healthy portion intact.

Spinal Stenosis/Sciatica - The nerves of the spine travel through canals that run through each of the vertebrae, but when stenosis takes place narrowing the space available, these canals will be squeezed, decreasing the available space for the nerve itself. This can cause intense pain radiating/shooting down the person’s leg/buttock/hip and potentially cause weakness in the area.

TIP: Depending on the specific type of spinal stenosis, patients should explore minimally invasive fusion, disc replacement or microdiscectomy procedures.

Spondylolisthesis - This occurs when one vertebrae shifts and translates forward on top of another vertebrae. This can be caused by a variety of reasons such as pars fracture and degenerative facet joints. Because of this shift and movement, the result is pinching and compression of the nerve roots which can cause back pain, neck pain, arm pain or leg pain depending if this is in the lower back or the neck.

TIP: Spondylosisthesis patients may benefit from either microdecompression or minimally invasive fusion and decompression which all can be done as outpatient surgery. The reason for fusion is to stabilize the slipped vertebrae on top of the other vertebrae and restore proper mechanical alignment.

“While these are just a few examples of conditions easily corrected by minimally invasive spine surgery, the list is actually much larger,” said orthopedic spine surgeon Dr. Hooman Melamed. “Before jumping into any major operation, back pain sufferers should really explore the options available to them using minimally invasive techniques.”

Dr. Melamed definitely recommends, “A second opinion may be the difference in being back on your feet the same evening versus struggling through lengthy hospitalization and recovery.”

About DISC Sports & Spine Center
DISC Sports & Spine Center (DISC) is one of America’s foremost providers of minimally invasive spine procedures and advanced microscopic techniques. DISC’s highly specialized physicians apply both established and innovative solutions to diagnose, treat and rehabilitate their patients in a one-stop, multi-disciplinary setting. With a wide range of specialists under one roof, the result is an unmatched continuity of care with more efficiency, less stress for the patient and a zero MRSA infection rate. DISC’s ambulatory surgery centers include Diagnostic and Interventional Surgical Center and DISC Surgery Center at Newport Beach, both accredited by the AAAHC. DISC is also the official medical services provider for Red Bull and a proud partner of the LA Kings. In addition, as a former official medical services provider for the US Olympic team, DISC has successfully treated many of the athletes who participated in London with minimally invasive techniques. For more information, contact 866-481-DISC or visit

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Garrett Bray
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