Spinal Laser Surgery is a relatively new method of treating spinal conditions which has promised the orthopedic surgical field benefits, but as with any new technology, its effectiveness is still being demonstrated each day. To perform a procedure on the spine using a laser scalpel, a spine specialist will make the actual incision to open the body using the laser implement. This can be a somewhat tricky task, since it is notably more difficult to judge the depth of a cut with a laser than it would be with a more traditional scalpel. Once this incision has been made, the laser is also utilized to remove, repair, or otherwise treat the problem that persists. For a handful of spinal issues, this type of treatment can be the perfect solution. For others, the challenges might outweigh the effectiveness of the treatment. Spinal Laser Surgery is a burgeoning technology that shows promise in the orthopedic and neurosurgical fields, but it is important that it is employed for the right procedure and the right patient to remain effective.
One of the primary reasons doctors will advise their patients to consider spinal laser surgery is the shorter window of recovery time. Because the procedure is minimally invasive, using the laser itself to create the incision necessary to make a repair, there isn’t necessarily the drawn-out recovery time that would typically be synonymous with spine surgery. Additionally, some physicians prefer the spinal laser surgical method for its effectiveness in treating more localized and minor conditions of the spine. The laser as an implement has the ability to strike a spot while leaving the surrounding tissue undisturbed. This can be quite useful in the treatment of certain spinal issues. The drawbacks are certainly what informs most of the decisions as to what type of surgical method to proceed with. Spinal laser surgery is not the one-size-fits-all treatment many would have hoped. The most difficult aspect of the laser as a scalpel is its lack of precision when it comes to depth of an incision, ability to manage corners and more troubling angles, and the component of heat that is not present with traditional scalpels. For these reasons, in many cases, a traditional scalpel is safer and more effective in providing necessary treatment to the affected area. Also, laser scalpels can do damage to nerves if improperly handled, which could leave the patient to cope with new pain that wasn’t present prior to the procedure.
Arthroscopic Spinal Surgery is a surgical methodology that allows necessary spine surgery to be performed through a small incision with the use of micro tools in the hands of a trained surgeon. Minimally invasive spinal surgery tends to be the preferred way to treat spinal issues these days. Arthroscopic surgery promises the benefit of MISS without the inconsistencies of laser spinal surgery. It requires only a small incision to allow the surgical instruments the ability to enter the body to perform their work. It still allows the orthopedic surgeon to maintain the control they need to perform their work with accuracy and skill. The results from this type of surgery are overwhelmingly positive, and they occur without the accompanying pain and rehabilitation that generally goes along with traditional open spinal surgery. The muscles around the spine don’t need to be cut into to allow visibility. Finally, arthroscopic procedures are the preferable route concerning the recovery that needs to take place following any surgery. Physical Therapy to rehabilitate the spine can begin almost immediately following the procedure, which tends to provide better outcomes overall. The sooner the body can begin to learn or relearn how to function properly in light of corrections made in surgery, the more likely the procedure will be entirely successful; reducing pain and increasing quality of life.
One laser technology which can prove beneficial in nearly every case of spinal surgery is cold laser therapy. It can be utilized for pain management and expedited healing in the post-surgical rehabilitation portion of a spinal injury or disorder. Cold laser therapy is a pain management treatment for those who are experiencing pain and seek relief. It doesn’t actually use cold lasers, it just also doesn’t use the same hot lasers that are used in surgery. They are still relatively warm, which can immediately provide a small reprieve to the affected area. These lasers also function in several other ways to reduce pain, promote more efficient healing, and eventually increase mobility.
To learn more about laser spine surgery, arthroscopic spinal surgery, cold laser therapy, and more, get in touch with the doctors at AICA Orthopedics.