Pain in your spine can prevent you from doing the things you love. When it hurts to move, you can have a hard time participating in life events like weddings and graduations. Spinal pain can limit your ability to work, placing stress on your finances and your family.
Dr. Todd H. Lanman knows exactly what this is like. He is the founder of the Advanced Disc Replacement Spinal Restoration Center, but he was also a patient more than once. He has personally undergone eleven surgeries on his spine to restore his back health and mobility. His experience drives him to use advanced methods and improved technology to increases the chances of patient success. He saw his life restored with spinal surgery and wants to provide the same service to his patients.
If you are experiencing pain in your back or a loss of mobility and consult with Dr. Lanman, he may talk to you about minimally invasive spine surgery. This process uses new methods to drive better results. Learn more about the surgical process and what to expect from a patient perspective.
Minimally invasive spine surgery is an alternative to open spine surgery. Instead of creating a large incision through which the doctor can access the vertebrae, minimally invasive surgery uses a smaller incision, modern tools, and more advanced techniques.
Minimally invasive surgeries often require less recovery time and are lower risk. First, there is a decreased risk of infection because of the smaller incision. Instead of dealing with a large open wound caused by major surgery, many patients only have an incision of a few inches. Smaller surgeries often take less recovery time because the patient isn’t in as much pain and less of the body is affected.
This doesn’t mean that minimally invasive surgery isn’t effective. Many modern surgeries drive better results today than their open spine counterparts did in years past. As technology advances, so does medical care and our surgical capabilities. Regardless of the vertebrae, spinal disc, or joint that your surgeon is working on, their chances of success are high with minimally-invasive methods.
Minimally invasive spine surgery is a type of surgery. It describes how a surgical procedure is performed, rather than a specific operation. These procedures can target any part of your spine (from the cervical to the lumbar area) and address problems with your vertebrae or discs. A few common types of minimally invasive spine surgeries include:
Dr. Lanman is one of the leading surgeons in artificial disc replacement, which is often considered a viable alternative to spinal fusion. However, he can perform multiple types of minimally invasive spinal surgery that drive positive patient results.
When you meet with Dr. Lanman, or a spinal specialist in your area, he will first try to treat your condition with non-surgical methods. While minimally invasive surgery is safe and often drives positive results, any form of surgery still puts stress on the bodies of patients. Surgical recovery will take a few weeks and success can’t be guaranteed. This is why your doctor will start with non-surgical options first.
Dr. Lanman often takes a multi-pronged approach to back pain. He will recommend physical therapy exercises to help you stretch your muscles and restore your back health. He may recommend heat or cold therapy (like the use of heating pads and ice packs) along with pain relief and anti-inflammatory medications.
However, if these options don’t work, he may recommend minimally invasive spine surgery. Candidates for this surgery are in good health (don’t smoke, have a healthy weight, etc.) which means they are more likely to have standard recovery and a better quality of life as a result of the procedure. Minimally invasive spine surgery can reduce your pain levels and return your mobility to where it once was.
If Dr. Lanman has decided that you are a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery, he will give you clear steps to prepare for your operation. A few of his recommendations include:
Dr. Lanman will provide detailed instructions to each patient on how they can prepare for surgery. He can tailor these instructions based on your particular needs and lifestyle.
On the day of your surgery, Dr. Lanman may ask that you refrain from eating or drinking for a set amount of time before you arrive. You will check in at the Spinal Restoration Center and will need to be dropped off by a friend, family member, or caretaker.
Dr. Lanman’s staff will help you get settled before the procedure. When the time comes, they will administer general anesthesia to help you fall asleep. You won’t be awake during surgery which means you won’t experience pain during the process.
With minimally invasive spine surgery, Dr. Lanman only needs to make an inch-long cut in your back(the length of the incision may be longer or shorter depending on your unique case). Instead of moving your muscles out of the way to access your spine – which increases the chances that they are damaged and can lengthen your recovery time – Dr. Lanman can insert a small endoscope through the incision. This is a tube with a video camera at the end that travels to the affected part of your spine. The endoscope also has tiny instruments attached for the surgical procedure. Dr. Lanman can look at your spine on a camera projection and use the tools to complete the operation.
When the procedure is complete, the endoscope is removed. Dr. Lanman will close the incision and move you to the recovery room. Most minimally-invasive surgeries only take a few hours
Minimally invasive spinal surgery is an outpatient procedure. This means you won’t have to spend the night in the hospital. Patients are able to leave within a few hours after surgery and can recover from the comfort of their homes.
Once Dr. Lanman has completed your surgery and you have been discharged from the spinal center, you can return home to start the recovery process. Just because the surgery is minimally invasive doesn’t mean you can immediately return to your daily life. You will need to spend a few days recovering from the procedure.
Try to stay off of your feet for the first week after your operation. You shouldn’t return to work or participate in heavy exercise. During this time, you should move around and complete light activities – like walking around your neighborhood. Dr. Lanman will provide you with a list of things you should and should not do.
After the first week, you can slowly start to add more tasks and activities to complete. You can return to light work but should avoid any heavy lifting or repetitive motions. You can start to exercise again but should limit yourself to light activities. Dr. Lanman may recommend meeting with a physical therapist or completing daily activities to restore your mobility.
Every patient is unique, which means your recovery time will look different compared to others who undergo the same surgery. Some patients feel like they have recovered within a month. Others may take longer to feel their best again.
Any surgical procedure comes with risks, regardless of whether you are going through open spine surgery or a minimally invasive operation. While minimally invasive spine surgery takes steps to reduce these risks, there is always a chance that something could go wrong. A few risks that come with these operations include:
While these potential risks may seem daunting, the chances that you experience severe side effects are low. Many minimally invasive spine surgery procedures have a success rate of 90 percent or higher. After you recover, you can live with less pain and improved mobility.
Additionally, Dr. Lanman will never perform any operation without your explicit consent. He will only recommend you for surgery if you feel confident about the procedure and his capabilities to treat you.
You shouldn’t have to live with back pain. If you live with discomfort and can’t move as you should, make an appointment with Dr. Lanman at the Advanced Disc Replacement Spinal Restoration Center. He is happy to discuss your pain levels and develop a treatment plan for the future. Dr. Lanman currently practices in Beverly Hills and Miami, alongside his medical partner Dr. Jason M. Cuéllar.
Request an appointment today and take the first steps toward living without pain.