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Is minimally invasive spine surgery right for me?

Regardless of the type of surgery performed, most people have questions regarding their procedure. Your doctor should be able to answer all of your questions regarding minimally invasive spine surgery. The most important question to answer is, “Is surgery right for me?”

If you have a pain or neurological condition related to your spine, there are many different treatment options available to you in NJ and NYC. Physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications are usually the first line of treatment. Sometimes, injections are used to decrease inflammation and provide symptomatic relief. These are just two examples of what is called “conservative” or “non-operative” spine care.

When conservative treatments fail to produce significant or durable relief from pain or if neurological symptoms such as weakness and loss of sensation exist, your doctor may recommend a surgical procedure. It is important to understand that, although your pain and suffering may be great and you have tried and not had success with conservative treatments, you may still not be a good surgical candidate. One of the most important qualities in an NJ spine surgeon is determining which patient to recommend surgery to.

Although the kinds of spine surgery that are being performed in NJ and NYC have not changed that much recently, the way in which they are being performed has changed greatly. The capability to perform these surgeries with less invasiveness now exists, making these surgeries less painful and easier to recover from.

How do I know if minimally invasive spine surgery is right for me?

While not everyone is a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery, many people are. Some of the candidates that are not the right fit for surgery include people who have chronic pain that may not be amenable to any kind of surgery, and others that may engage in lifestyle habits, like smoking, that may decrease their chance of a full recovery after the procedure.

People who do well with minimally invasive spine surgery typically exhibit traits of an active lifestyle. These may include:

  • Avoiding smoking
  • Engaging in regular physical exercise
  • Participating in sports or other recreational activities

The best way to know if minimally invasive spine surgery is right for you is to speak with a local surgeon. They’ll get to know you, your medical history and they’ll detail whether they feel you’re the right candidate for surgery.

Deciding to have surgery

The decision to have surgery for your back can be a tough one to make. You may be feeling anxious about how the procedure may affect your day-to-day activities and active lifestyle. These feelings are common and are best dealt with by finding a surgeon who will listen to your concerns and explain the risks and benefits associated with minimally invasive spine surgery.

Back pain and sciatica may limit your ability to move freely and enjoy your normal activities. By working closely with a doctor you trust, you can gain confidence in your decision to eliminate your back pain.

Am I a good candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery?