If conservative treatment options fail, spine surgery may be necessary. Minimally invasive spine surgery may be a beneficial option for patients who need specific types of surgery, such as a cervical or lumbar fusion. Minimally invasive surgery allows for a smaller incision, sparing more soft tissue around the surgical site and enabling a quicker recovery for some patients. This usually also results in faster healing and less pain for the patient. The prevalence of adjacent segment degeneration, a post-surgical condition where the level immediately above or below a repaired area (after a fusion, for instance) may be weakened, is also lessened with minimally invasive surgery. Open spine surgery incisions are usually 5-6 inches long, but minimally invasive surgery may be performed with only a fraction of such an incision being necessary.
Compared to inpatient, long-incision spine surgery, outcomes for surgery in the outpatient setting are significantly improved. Instead of an average hospital stay of five days, a patient may only spend a few hours in the outpatient center before returning home. Duration of surgery is cut in half, which also greatly reduces the risk of infection or the necessity of a blood transfusion. Patients typically walk on the day of their surgery (as soon as they are awake and their anesthesia has worn off) and report less pain when walking. Spine patients who undergo surgery at Campbell Surgery Center have never had an infection to date and experience roughly only one-third the blood loss of spine patients in the hospital setting.