Category: Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: February 1, 2016
Doctors are getting better at spinal surgery each and every day. Not only are they able to access spinal areas with smaller incisions, but we’re also finding new types of hardware to help stabilize the spine. Spinal stabilization through instrumentation offers the patient numerous benefits. Today, we’re going to take a look at some of the ways patients benefit from instrumentation during spinal surgery.
The number one goal of spinal instrumentation is to stabilize the spine. Stabilization is key because excessive movement or repetitive trauma likely led to the initial injury. There are a variety of different types of instruments that can be used to stabilize the spine. Surgeons oftentimes use plates, rods, screws, wires or spinal cement to help stabilize the spine from excessive motion during the healing process.
Another reason why doctors like to insert hardware in the spine for certain conditions is that it offers the back some extra protection. You might not be able to return to certain activities like downhill skiing or horseback riding, but spinal hardware offers your spine some extra protection for everyday activities like walking or while sleeping. By de-stressing your spine, the hardware offers your spine another level of protection.
Hardware is also beneficial because it helps facilitate healthy and faster healing. During bone grafts, hardware is designed to hold material in place while the existing bone adheres to it. Also, since spinal hardware has become smaller and more functional, the minimally invasive aspect of hardware insertion doesn’t take an enormous toll on the spine. No surgery is minor, but the smaller the opening, the quicker the surgical site and the spine can heal.
Spinal hardware can also decrease some of the risks associated with surgery. Conservative treatment is often preferred, but if there is a high likelihood of recurrence, surgical instrumentation can help ensure the spine won’t be re-injured by movements that caused it to become injured in the first place. Additionally, the minimally invasive side of the operation also reduces risks that accompany any type of surgical operation. A smaller operating site reduces the likelihood of infection, less muscles and fibers need to be cut to address the surgical site, and less potential for blood loss.