The spine supports the body and helps to stand, sit, bend, move, and spin. The spine, which protects the spinal cord from injury, extends from the base of the skull to lower end of the back. It is shaped like an “S”. It has 33 bones interconnected to each other.
These vertebrae are numbered and divided into four areas: cervical vertebrae (near the neck), thoracic vertebrae (upper back), lumbar vertebrae (lower back), sacrum (extreme lower back – connecting the spine to the hip), and also the tailbone coccyx of the spine. Only 24 of these bones move because the sacrum and tailbone are fused.
As the world is progressing fast we are observing technological progress in all areas of life. Spinal surgery has also shifted from primary incision / open surgery to minimally invasive microscopic spinal surgery, endoscopic surgery and keyhole surgery.
This modality, when carefully chosen for the right patient, ensures excellent results and a shorter hospital stay, along with shorter rest periods and quick return to work.
In this article, Dr Surya Prakash Rao Voleti explains about Spine problems and how keyhole spine surgery is helpful in treating spinal injuries.
Spine Related Problems
Spinal problems can occur due to injuries, tumours, infections, vertebral dislocation, and age-related issues such as intervertebral disc degeneration. Symptoms that indicate problems with your spine include constant back pain (up / down), neck pain, numbness in the legs and arms, and difficulty sitting, standing, or walking.
Surgical Treatment of spinal aliments
Spine surgery is divided into two types- conventional or open surgery and keyhole/ minimum access surgery to the spine. Certain spinal conditions such as intervertebral discs (compression) and tumours can be treated with keyhole spinal surgery or minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS).
What Is Meant By Keyhole Or Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery?
As the name suggests, this procedure is a very advanced form of spinal surgery that only requires tiny incisions, so there is only minimal damage to healthy tissue and thus faster recovery after surgery.
Minimally invasive spine surgery is performed using a particular surgical instrument called a tubular retractor. In certain situations, Special Microlumbar retractors are used. Doctors insert these instruments through small incisions directly into the spine and tunnel-like opening to the area that needs to be treated. Tubular retractors keep the muscles open and hold throughout the procedure. It ensures that blood loss and damage to muscles, ligaments and bones are minimal compared to open surgery.
How Keyhole Spine Surgery Works?
Because the spinal cord and intervertebral nerve are located deep in the body, the spinal area to treat, muscle tissue must be removed out of the way to gain an approach for access to the spinal zone. These can be done by the use of small holes and directional instruments and tiny video cameras inserted through this minimal incision.
The incision resembles a keyhole and hence called a Keyhole procedure which is typically one inch long.
Minimally invasive spinal surgery is performed using a tiny incision. This small incision used to send segmental tubular retractors and dilator to pull the muscle away from the operating area and make the affected area of the spine accessible. It minimizes damage to muscles and soft tissue and reduces blood loss during surgery.
An endoscope, a thin telescopic instrument with a video camera at the end, is inserted through a small hole to provide an image on the monitors of operating area in the operating room. Some surgeons use Surgical microscope instead of the endoscope to achieve the same results. In these procedures, special mini surgical instruments sent through a working channel that functions to perform the surgery. After the procedure is complete, the tissue gets replaced after the removal of various instruments. The incision is then stitched and closed with sterile surgical gauze.
Spinal Conditions Treated Using Keyhole Procedure:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Herniated disc or Ruptured disc
- Lumbar spinal stenosis
- Some Spinal infections
- Spinal instability including spondylolisthesis
- Vertebral compression fractures
- Some Spinal tumours
Advantages Of Keyhole Spine Surgeries:
- Minimal hospital stays maybe 1 or 2 days after the surgery
- Faster return to a healthy life
- Tiny surgical incisions
- Minimal blood loss
- Lesser tissue/ muscle damage
- Fewer post-surgical complications including infections
- Lower incidence of surgery-related back pain
- Lesser pain
- Minimal pain killers
- Quicker recovery
Keyhole spinal surgery is beneficial for some elder patient because there are far fewer problems associated with it. It is also helpful for overweight patients because the healing time is shorter, and they can start walking the next day.
The most common use of keyhole spinal surgery is to treat herniated discs that cause sciatic pain. In this case, the patient gets discharged on the same day or the day after surgery.
The doctor can determine which keyhole surgery, if any, can be an option for treating spinal disease. In some situations, keyhole operations may not be as safe or effective as traditional open operations. In this case, a doctor can tell you about the relative risks and benefits. Besides, several conditions cannot get treated with keyhole surgery.
Performing keyhole spinal surgery requires advanced surgical skills and specialized training based on the latest technology. Dr Surya Prakash Rao Voleti is very much experienced and has all the latest training to treat complex spinal disorders in adults and children, including spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis (spinal dislocation), fracture fixation, spinal tumours and spinal fusion procedures.
Why Choose Dr Surya Prakash Rao Voleti?
Dr Surya Prakash Rao Voleti is a leading spine surgeon in Hyderabad. He has years of experience in spinal surgery and has helped many patients. He has extensive experience in various fields of spine surgery such as spinal cord trauma, pediatric spine problem, and spinal tumours, and back pain and more.
Dr Surya Prakash Rao Voleti talks with patients and gives the time to patient understand the condition and history, and offer the most appropriate advice, from surgery to rest, rehabilitation, strength and function exercise after the surgery. He also provides information about other possible treatments and related risks.