Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Advances in Back Pain Relief

Advances in Back Pain Relief

Advances in Back Pain Relief
Advances in surgical techniques and technology in open back surgery is less invasive than it was in the 1990s. These advances being used today to relieve back pain are having amazing results in reducing the recovery time and scar tissue.
The disc between my L5-S1 vertebrae herniated back in 1995. During the next 10 months I tried to avoid surgery until I could no longer walk without help. Back in the 1990's open back surgery was an invasive surgery relying on cutting through muscle and tissue adding to the problem not solving it. My doctor cut 4 inches of muscle and tissue to get to my herniated disc. All this damage getting to the problem area greatly increased the scar tissue around my hernia. This scar tissue ended up replacing the herniated disc and I still had chronic numbness and pain in my foot and legs for five years after the surgery.
Three techniques used today have revolutionized the recovery time by reducing damage done by cutting muscle and tissue. I would have preferred either of these three techniques to help reduce my prolonged post-opt pain.
Three Advances for back pain relief:
1. Endoscopic Foraminotomy is an endoscopic procedure is used to relieve pressure on the nerves when a portion of the nerve root exits the spinal canal. (A pinched nerve). What makes this different from open back surgery is a small incision is made to place tubes, to push the muscle and tissue aside instead of cutting your way to the vertebrae. This reduces the damage around the affected area thus minimizing scar tissue that will develop after the surgery.
2. Facet Thermal Ablation is typically used around joints. A 5mm tube with a laser and suction irrigation tool inside. A 5mm incision is equal to 1/5th of an inch compared to my 4 inch scar. The pulse laser eliminates the cartilage around the joint to release pressure off the nerves and relieve pain. Post-opt recovery time is reduced because of the small incision and minimal cutting is done to your muscles and tissue.
3. Percutaneous Endoscopic Discetomy or laser discoplasty is typically a neck surgery. The best part about this technique is there is no cutting involved. A long hollow needle is used instead of a scalpel. A laser slides through the needle and pulses light at the problem area. This shrinks the bulging disc releasing pressure. All that is left is a needle prick instead of a large scar on your neck.
All three of these techniques are minimally invasive relieve back pain, eliminating the need to stay overnight at the hospital and reduce the cost involved. Since your muscles and tissue are not cut you are able to walk home after they wheel you to the front door. Your endoscopic incision even reduces the chances for infection.
In the past many people complained that their pain ended up being worse after surgery than before. This is largely due to post-opt scaring and inadequate techniques. With the advances today back surgery can relieve back pain better and faster than in years past. I wish I had these options when the doctor wanted to cut open my back. To learn more, follow this link: back pain relief.


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