Is Minimally Invasive Back Stabilization Right for My Cervical Myelomalacia?
Minimally invasive back stabilization may be a treatment option for some patients who are suffering from degenerative spine conditions like cervical myelomalacia (the softening of the spinal cord in the upper spine). This condition can occur when there is insufficient blood supply to the spinal cord, and is often caused by sports-related injuries to the spinal cord or by spinal degeneration that happens naturally due to aging.
While a minimally invasive procedure for cervical myelomalacia does offer a number of benefits over open spine surgery, it is still a serious surgical procedure and should be treated as such. When determining whether a patient is a candidate for minimally invasive stabilization (MIS), a surgeon will take into consideration the severity of the patient’s condition, his or her age, and his or her overall level of health. Keep in mind that surgery should only become an option after a patient has already attempted a wide range of nonsurgical treatments over the course of several months.
MIS Procedures for Cervical Myelomalacia
When considering MIS for cervical myelomalacia, patients should learn as much as possible about the procedure, its risks and benefits, and what the recovery process may entail. Below is a basic overview of minimally invasive back stabilization surgery at Laser Spine Institute:
- The surgery is performed in an outpatient setting.
- A small incision (usually less than 1-inch in length) is required for the surgeon to access the affected areas of the spine.
- The disc or bone material that is causing constriction or softening of the spinal cord is completely removed.
- An implant, bone graft, and the patient’s own stem cells are inserted into the space between adjacent cervical vertebrae that was formerly occupied by the damaged disc, and minimal hardware is used to stabilize the area.
- Most patients can walk and return home or to their hotel room a few hours after the procedure is complete.
The Recovery Process
The recovery process after minimally invasive back or neck stabilization will be different for every patient. However, the first four to six weeks after surgery are crucial for rehabilitation. While it is important for patients to become mobile again in the days following surgery, it is just as important that they do not overexert themselves or perform any lifting, bending, or twisting. A full set of instructions, limitations, and exercises will be provided by the patient’s surgeon and physical therapy consultants.
Patients who are considering minimally invasive back or neck stabilization can contact Laser Spine Institute to learn more. Our orthopedic experts would be happy to provide you with a complimentary review of your MRI or CT scan and discuss your candidacy for our innovative procedures.