In Glendale California, Dr. David Rogers is an orthopedic spine surgeon who uses small incision surgery, also known as microsurgery. Patients who have spinal surgery using this technique heal faster, have lower infection rates, and can literally walk out of surgery and go home after some time spent in the recovery suite.

What is Microsurgery?
First, let’s talk about what spinal microsurgery is not. There is no large incision, no retraction, no pulls of the muscles surrounding the spine, so the surgeon gets a clear view of the operating field.

Spinal microsurgery uses a small incision, miniature operating instruments, and an operating microscope. With this advanced technology, microsurgeons see the same results as those done with traditional spinal surgery.

The key to successful small incision spinal surgery is special tools known as tubular retractors. The purpose of the tubular retractor is to create a “tunnel” to the small area of the spine that needs corrective or palliative surgery. The tubular retractor is used as the surgical center in the patient’s spine through which the surgeon inserts small surgical instruments and removes bone or cartilage. In addition to microscopes, surgeons who use the small incision technique for spinal surgery may also choose to be guided by fluoroscopy which is a form of real-time x-rays.

What are The Risks Related to Spinal Microsurgery?
While healing times are faster when a patient has spine surgery using a microsurgery technique, it is still surgery. As such, there are risks associated with a microsurgery for spinal repairs include:

Complications associated with anesthesia;

  • Allergic reactions;
  • Blood clots;
  • Adverse reactions due to illnesses that have gone undiagnosed such as silent heart disease; and
  • Nerve and/or blood vessel damage.
  • Rarely, surgeons convert to an open surgery if dictated by unforeseen circumstances.


What are The Benefits of Microsurgery?
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery is sometimes referred to using the acronym MISS. However, the actual procedures are a hit with patients. Benefits of microsurgery include:

  • Tiny incision;
  • Less blood loss;
  • Minimal skin and muscle damage;
  • Less post-operative pain;
  • Faster healing that allows a patient to return to normal activities sooner; and
  • Less scarring.
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