Spine Surgery

Keyhole
Spine Surgery

Keyhole Spine Surgery

Keyhole Spine Surgery

What is ‘keyhole’ spinal surgery?

  • This term refers to any surgical technique that involves minimal or no trauma to the muscle in order to achieve the surgical results
  • It utilizes special instruments, retractors and tubes that allow the surgical procedure to be carried out safely through a smaller window
  • It usually, but not always, utilises a smaller skin incision

How is it different to conventional spinal surgery?

  • Conventional spine surgery usually requires the overlying muscles to be detached or stripped from the bone in order to expose the area of the spine required to perform the surgical procedure
  • This can result in exposed bleeding surfaces of the muscles
  • It can also damage the nerve supply to the muscle

What are the advantages of keyhole spinal surgery?

  • Keyhole surgery avoids extensive stripping of the muscle
  • This results in less bleeding and loss of function of the muscle
  • The patient experiences less pain in the post-operative period and uses less pain medication
  • The patient is able to return to function earlier

What procedures can be done by this technique?

  • Any open procedure can also be carried out through keyhole technique
  • Sometimes the patient anatomy will mean that a conventional surgery is more appropriate
  • These include discectomy, decompression, spinal fusion, fracture fixation, deformity correction etc.
  • Endoscopic spinal surgery is a specialized form of keyhole surgery that utilizes special tubes, cameras and instruments

Are there any disadvantages to keyhole spinal surgery?

  • It requires your surgeon to have had special training in these techniques
  • The need for specialized instruments such as special screws or endoscopes may drive up the cost of surgery
  • Keyhole surgeries may sometimes take longer to do
  • Sometimes keyhole procedures may have to be converted to convention surgery in order to complete the procedure safely and effectively
  • The added cost of keyhole spinal surgery is usually offset by shortened hospital stay, less use of pain medicines and quicker return to work

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Keyhole Spine Surgery

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