Technology, innovative research, and skilled surgeons have led to a major change in spine surgery over the past couple years. For the longest time, spine surgery has focused on procedures that stabilize and decompress the spine. An example of this is a fusion operation. Fusion has been the gold standard operation for spinal conditions for almost a century, now. Recent research and studies have brought to light the importance of preserving and maintaining motion in the spine. Now that we have pushed the boundaries of what can be done in the spine, things have changed. One massive change is the ability to preserve motion and still achieve the goals and outcome measures of the gold standard procedures, such as fusion.
Some examples of these new procedures include cervical disc replacement, lumbar disc replacement, interlaminar devices, and facet joint replacements, all with the ability to preserve motion. This is not a phase or blip on the radar, but an evolution of traditional spine surgery. Minimally invasive procedures have overtaken large open procedures, and motion preservation is a big part of that. These motion preservation procedures already apply minimally invasive technique—which means less recovery time for patients.
Traditionally, spine surgery was done in a hospital setting where the patients were required to stay several days in recovery. Now that we have advanced the field, patients are walking out of surgery centers the same day with the same success as traditional methods. As a patient, one must ask themselves, “Do I want to stay in the hospital for 3 days in a lot of pain, or go home the same day to my actual, comfortable home, in less pain?” Hospitals already pose increased risk for sickness and infection. Not to mention, it’s far less expensive going home the same day, compared to racking up a large hospital bill.
Motion preservation is the future of spine care. At Prairie Spine & Pain Institute, we have been leading the way in preserving motion in spine surgery. Our patients have access to these techniques and procedures. Spine surgery has changed, and continues to change. We will continue to provide our patients with the very best that orthopedic spine surgery has to offer. If you have back or neck pain, come see us today at Prairie Spine & Pain Institute.
About The Author: Derek N. Morrow, PA-C is a physician assistant with Prairie Spine and Pain Institute. Derek works in the clinic setting as a health care provider seeing patients. He is also utilized in the operating room as a first assist in surgery. In the clinic setting, his key function is to diagnose new patients and conduct their initial treatment. He works directly with patients to establish customized treatment programs and to monitor their progress. He also conducts history and physical evaluations for many patients. He performs many office procedures including trigger point injections, large joint injections, and bursa injections, all with the help of ultrasound guidance. He is radiologically trained, and uses his knowledge of X-ray, Ultrasound, MRI, CT, and EMG-Nerve Conduction Studies to establish a diagnosis and determine the appropriate treatment. Derek is surgically trained and plays a vital role in the procedures we perform at Prairie Spine and Pain Institute.