Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Poised for Rapid Growth

December 4, 2009

Minimally invasive techniques have become standard for many procedures, from the removal of the gallbladder to angioplasty, but the approach is now only beginning to be available to patients with spinal conditions. The surgical team at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center’s Spine Center aims to bring the benefits of minimally invasive surgery for patients with intractable back pain, stenosis, spinal deformity, even spinal cancer.

“Despite the availability of minimally invasive alternatives, as many as 90 percent of common procedures like discectomy and lumbar fusion are still performed using traditional open surgery,” says Dr. Alfred Ogden, director of the minimally invasive spine surgery program at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and assistant professor of neurological surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. “With specialized training and technologies available at spine centers such as our own, we can now offer patients these procedures and others, with all the advantages of less-invasive surgery.”

According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, a shift to the minimally invasive surgery would translate into tangible benefits to patients, including dramatically smaller incisions, less pain, reduced blood loss, shorter hospital stays and faster recovery. More…