Every patient wishes to have a minimally invasive surgery, and there is no reason why they shouldn’t. A minimally invasive surgery that’s performed properly and professionally means less pain, fewer or smaller incisions, a speedier recovery, and ultimately, a better result.
A true minimally invasive surgery means taking the time to understand unique needs and certain goals in order to develop a solution that fits the individual. It is an approach that involves deep understanding and thorough preparation from pre-surgery to the individual’s recovery. With these surgeries, the smallest of incisions are always used. Therefore, it is imperative to diagnose and isolate the specific source causing a patient pain or discomfort and actually fix the affected part without interfering with other parts of the body.
When is a minimally invasive surgery necessary?
The goal of minimally invasive surgery is to repair and rebuild damaged parts of the spine in a way that allows patients to maintain function and mobility. Spondylolisthesis, cervical radiculopathy, sciatica, and lumbar spinal stenosis are a few examples of conditions known to cause pain and nerve damage in the spine. If left untreated, the pressure on the spinal nerves may lead to permanent nerve injuries, resulting in pain, weakness, or even paralysis in extreme cases. Minimally invasive surgical solutions for these conditions require directly removing pressure from the pinched nerves to avoid nerve damage.
What is The Cantor Institute’s spine surgery procedure?
Our minimally invasive surgery involves the use of ultrasonic technology, a groundbreaking innovation in spine surgery. This technology allows us to sculpt the bone and herniated discs using meticulously precise millimeter accuracy. The ultrasonic energy allows us to “melt” away the intricate piece that is pinching a patient’s nerve and causing them pain while ensuring that essential surrounding tissues and nerves remain unaffected.
This technology has been utilized and proven in numerous cases and results in dramatically improved patient outcomes. Patients often report their pain has disappeared in just a few weeks and with these surgeries, patients retain their full mobility as well as their spine’s intricate structural integrity.
Groundbreaking surgical techniques utilizing ultrasonic cutting tools are changing the very definition of ‘minimally invasive spine surgery’, evolving spinal surgery in ways that were at one point, virtually impossible.
Today’s innovative tools use high frequency vibration transmitted through a water-cooled cutting tip. The vibrating tip feels a lot like that of an electronic toothbrush. However, upon coming into contact with hard bone, it will literally melt the bone, similar to a hot knife through butter. As a result, bone spurs that may be damaging a patient’s nerves are “melted away” with little risk of affecting surrounding nerves. Thanks to precise, millimeter accuracy and the safety of the vibrating “knife”, a trained, professional surgeon is better able to eliminate painful spine problems more effectively than they ever have before through microscopic incisions.
The Cantor Institute’s ultrasound technology is revolutionizing spine surgery. Our surgical procedures specifically target these microscopic structures in the spine. This means we can target bones without affecting any neighboring tissue or nerves, dramatically improving recovery time while also allowing the patient’s spine to maintain its structural integrity.
With ultrasonic spine surgery, the incisions are smaller, patients experience less pain and blood loss, spinal fusions are fewer or entirely unnecessary, mobility is preserved, and the patient enjoys a significantly faster recovery.
Do what is necessary to get the pressure off of the nerves. This will involve laminectomy, removing important structural components of the spine. Replace these natural structural parts with fusions supported with rods and screws. Patients will adapt and do fine with their limitations in mobility, loss of strength, and compromised function. When joints above and below the surgery site break down and become painful, do additional surgery to include new broken painful areas.
Do a better operation for the patient. Avoid whenever possible procedures that alter mechanics or transfer stress. Do not be satisfied with surgery that compromises structure and mobility and increases the chance of needing additional surgery. Remove pressure from pinched nerves non-destructively. Structures that are not damaged prior to surgery should not be compromised after. Structures that need to be altered should be rebuilt using the natural process of healing and not with the use of fusions, rods, and screws. Preserve structure strength, mobility, and function. Patients want to and need to be able to function after surgery.
Use traditional cutting tools making laminectomy the only available technique. Because laminectomy will eliminate the natural cables that hold the spine together, use metal implants to replace the natural structure. Remove pressure on all nerves that may be a problem because after laminectomy other "potentially" problematic areas may become painful.
Clearly identify exactly where and what is pinching the nerves, repair those areas and stay away from everything else!
Avoid laminectomy. Avoid fusion and rods and screws whenever possible. Develop and employ techniques that do not interfere with and do not damage the normal mechanical integrity of the spine. Develop and employ new techniques that work through smallest incisions and work under and around normal structural parts of the spine. Without altering mechanics and changing the stresses on the spine, areas that are not painful will not be altered and are less likely to become problematic after surgery.
Employ techniques normally used in shoulder, knee, and other joint surgery to preserve and rebuild rather than remove and replace structure. These methods are not usually used or considered in spinal surgery.
"Old fashioned" Traditional drills and saws used for spinal surgery are sharp and spin at high rates of speed. Safe use of these tools around delicate nerves requires plenty of room between sharp tools and the nerves. The result: removing lots of bone and important structure to safely get to the pinched nerve. The removed structures are important.
Lasers that are strong enough to cut bone cannot be used safely around nerves. High powered cutting lasers are difficult to control. They can cut through bones and what is behind them including the spinal cord, nerves, blood vessels, and intestines resulting in dangerous complications. Lasers can disable a nerve from feeling pain. If you have a nail in your toe you can laser the nerve that goes to the toe and immediately and temporarily feel better. It is probably a better idea to remove the nail. Lasers are sometimes solutions for relieving back pain but cannot safely remove painful pressure from pinched nerves.
New ultrasonic tools use high frequency vibration to dissolve what is causing pain. When used properly, they melt away bone spurs that pinch nerves like an electric toothbrush removes plaque from a tooth. These tools do not have sharp edges and do not spin. They can be used directly on the nerves. Because these tools can be used safely even with contact of nerves, they permit completely different types of surgery. Surgery is done through the smallest incisions, under and around important parts. Essentially the painful pressure on the nerve is removed from the inside out. Structure is preserved along with strength, mobility, and function. Ultrasonic tools allow the goals of "real minimally invasive surgery" to be a reality rather than a wish or dream.
Ultrasonic bone cutters are the safest and most precise instruments used for spinal surgery. Lasers or traditional tools cannot come close to their safety and accuracy.
Receive a thorough evaluation from Dr. Cantor on the best solution for your needs.