Category: Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: October 12, 2020
We’re always trying to expand our knowledge of the best ways to treat our patients and improve our surgical techniques, and we’re not alone. Countless industry experts are working hard to bring about advancements in surgical technology that will drive patient satisfaction and make surgeries safer. We’ve read a number of articles on the future of spine surgery, and we want to share some of the key themes that we’re reading about in many of these articles. Below, we take a closer look at three factors that will drive the future of spine surgery.
What The Future Holds For Spine Surgery
Here’s a look at three common themes that industry experts feel will really take off in the next decade and improve spine surgery.
- Minimally Invasive Gets Smaller – A number of spinal procedures can already be performed using minimally invasive techniques, but as technology advances, so too will our ability to perform major operations with minimal incisions. The less trauma we inflict on the body during surgery, the quicker recovery will be. Some tissue damage will be necessary, but it seems we’ve only scratched the surface in terms of unlocking the full potential of minimally invasive surgical techniques. We expect minimally invasive techniques to become the norm for some spinal procedures, and for new laparoscopic techniques to be developed for other spinal surgeries.
- Imaging Advancements – Imaging enhancements go hand in hand with the above point, because in order to perform a minimally invasive procedure, you need to be able to see what you’re doing with the help of a live camera feed. Real-time x-rays and similar live imaging techniques should only progress, similar to what we’ve seen with the television over the years. We’ve gone from standard definition to high definition to 4K and beyond. Similarly, real-time imaging and guidance techniques should only become clearer, easier to conduct and hopefully cheaper when the technology becomes more widespread.
- Digital Health – If we’re looking for a bright spot in the wake of the pandemic, it’s that it thrust doctors into the digital health world. It was a bit of a trial by fire for many clinics that quickly adopted virtual appointments and digital health consultations. This allowed clinics to continue to provide care to patients during uncertain times, and it’s clear that many experts expect this trend to continue if and when the coronavirus is no longer an imminent threat. While we can’t perform surgery digitally, a number of pre-op consultations, physical demonstrations and conversations can be had through digital health platforms, saving patients a lot of traveling time. It also expands care reach, as you’re now no longer limited to the care options that are near your house. You can get insight from some of the best doctors who are hours away all from the comfort of your home. We plan on continuing our virtual appointments going forward, and we expect a number of spinal clinics to do the same.
Hopefully we look back on this blog in a decade and realize we were right about the future, but as long as patient care and surgeries continue to become better and safer for the patient, we’re excited to see what lies ahead. For more information, or for help with your spinal issue, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.