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What Is Ultrasonic Spine Surgery? Recovery Time, Risks, And Benefits For Back Pain

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Dr. Deuk
An expert in all things spine, Dr. Deukmedjain is a board certified neurosurgeon who has performed thousands of minimally invasive surgeries and procedures including the revolutionary Deuk Laser Disc Repair and the Deuk Spinal Fusion. 

If you’re one of the millions of people who suffer from chronic back and neck pain, you may be considering ultrasonic spine surgery as a treatment option. This procedure has been shown to be effective in relieving pain for many patients.

However, it’s important to understand the risks and benefits involved before making a decision. This blog post will discuss what ultrasonic spine surgery is, how it works, and the recovery time involved.

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What is Ultrasonic Spine Surgery?

Ultrasonic Spine Surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that uses ultrasonic waves to break up and remove herniated discs. Many surgeons claim that ultrasonic spine surgery leads to: 

  • Less disruption to bones, joints, and tissue
  • Pain alleviation
  • Faster recovery time than traditional open spine surgeries. 

Ultrasonic spine surgery is performed using an ultrasonic scalpel. This device emits high-frequency sound waves that can cut through tissue with minimal heat damage. This allows the surgeon to remove tumors, lesions, and other tissues safely and effectively.

Understanding Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) is a type of surgery used to treat various spinal conditions. MISS is performed using small incisions and advanced technology, such as lasers and ultrasonic scalpels. This approach causes less tissue damage, and results in less scarring than traditional spine surgery.

People often see surgeons using tools such as an endoscope and ultrasonic scalpels and instantly assume that the surgeon is performing a minimally invasive surgery, but that's not the case. Minimally invasive spine surgery is a term that comprises of various approaches and tools. Ultrasonic scalpels, lasers, endoscopes are all tools that surgeons can use in both open and minimally invasive spine surgeries. 

This means, even if a surgeon is using an ultrasonic scalpel or laser, the surgeon may not be performing surgery that is truly minimally invasive.

The most important element of any surgery isn't the instrument or tool itself. Rather, it's the approach coupled with the skill and experience of the surgeon.

Traditional open spine surgery involves widely exposing the spine through big incisions. In contrast, surgeons use 3D images, CAT scans, robotics, and other tools to complete a procedure that exposes much less of it. 

According to MedStar Georgetown, traditional surgery is the best option for about 20% of the cases its team handles, but Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery techniques are better in most cases.

How Does Ultrasonic Spine Surgery Work?

During ultrasonic spine surgery, the surgeon will make a small incision in your back. A special instrument called an ultrasonic probe would be inserted through this incision. The probe emits ultrasonic waves that break up the herniated disc into small pieces. These pieces are then removed through suction.

Conditions That Benefit from Ultrasonic Spine Surgery

Ultrasonic spine surgery can be an effective treatment for herniated discs–degenerative disc 

disease. This procedure can also help improve the range of motion and reduce inflammation.

Disc Herniations

Herniated discs can cause back or neck pain, arm or leg discomfort, and even advance into more complicated syndromes such as sciatica, radiculopathy, or myelopathy. We call pain originating in a damaged disc “discogenic” pain.

There are 23 intervertebral discs in the spinal column. These discs are soft tissue joints composed of a hydraulic gelatinous core called the nucleus pulposus encased within a firm outer collagen wall termed the annulus fibrosus. The discs protect the spinal vertebrae and nerves from sudden impact and absorb shock from spine movements like bending, twisting, and jumping. 

Unfortunately, the disc's outer wall, the annulus fibrosus, can develop traumatic tears (annular tear), allowing the jelly-like nucleus pulposus to push backward out of the tear into the spinal canal or neural foramen. 

The part of the jelly nucleus pulposus that pushes out through the tear is called the herniation. In many cases, this hernia can impinge on a nerve, giving rise to inflammation and irritation of the affected nerve.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease involves various biochemical, structural, nutritional, and molecular changes that occur in the spinal disc over time or following an initial injury to the intervertebral spinal disc in your spine.

 Degenerative disc disease is a common cause of back pain and neck pain (discogenic pain), sciatica, and radiculopathy. The pain in your back from degenerative disc disease comes from irritated (inflamed or compressed) nerve fibers nearby and can be categorized as mechanical instability. Deuk Spine Institute offers a wide range of treatments for this condition.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis occurs when, usually due to the age of the body, the spinal canal narrows and puts pressure on the important spinal nerves. Spinal stenosis is called cervical stenosis when it occurs in the neck area, thoracic stenosis in the middle to upper part of the back, and lumbar stenosis in the lower back area. 

Narrowing can happen for several reasons, such as ligaments and cartilage thickening in the canal or excessive bone growth, causing the opening to become more slender over time. 

The risk of this problem increases as a patient passes 50 years of age, due in part to years of stress on the spine and the tendency of tissue and bone to become less sturdy or flexible with decades of repeated use. Bone disease or spinal injury may also contribute to stenosis of the spine in patients of any age.

Benefits of Ultrasonic Spine Surgery:

The following are the benefits of ultrasonic spine surgery:

Standard benefits:

  • Pain relief
  • Restore functionality to the back
  • Prevent future injury
  • Minimal scarring
  • Quick recovery time
  • Less pain and discomfort during treatment

Emotional benefits:

  • Feel free from chronic pain and discomfort
  • Comfortable taking part in everyday task
  • Restored confidence in your body's ability to heal itself
  • Peace of mind knowing you're doing everything possible for the best outcome

Risks of Ultrasonic Spine Surgery

Ultrasonic spine surgery is a relatively new technique that has been developed to help surgeons treat conditions of the spine. However, there are risks associated with ultrasonic spine surgery, as with any surgery. 

Some of the risks include:

  • Damage to the nerves or spinal cord
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Problems with anesthesia
  • Blood clots

Ultrasonic Spine Surgery Cost

The cost of ultrasonic spine surgery can vary depending on the severity of the condition being treated, the location of the surgery, and other factors. In general, the procedure is less expensive than traditional open spine surgery.

Ultrasonic Spine Surgery Pros and Cons

Ultrasonic spine surgery has various pros and cons, and they include:

Pros:

  • Less invasive than traditional open spine surgery.
  • Can be an effective treatment for herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, and other conditions that cause back pain.
  • Can help to improve range of motion and reduce inflammation.

Cons:

  • Not suitable for every patient.
  • Risks and complications associated with any surgery.

Recovery Time

Most patients who undergo ultrasonic spine surgery experience a quick recovery. Most people can return to their normal activities within a few days. However, it is important to follow your doctor's instructions and take them easy during the first few weeks of recovery.

Complications

As with any surgery, there are complications associated with ultrasonic spine surgery. These can include infection, bleeding, and nerve damage. There is also a small risk of stroke or paralysis. 

Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of the procedure with you before you decide to have the surgery.

Is Ultrasonic Spine Surgery painful?

Ultrasonic spine surgery is usually not painful. The ultrasonic probe used in this surgery breaks up the herniated disc into small pieces. These pieces are then removed through suction. 

This can be an effective treatment for herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, and other conditions that cause back pain. The procedure can also help to improve the range of motion and reduce inflammation.

Which surgery is best for the spine?

Spine Institutes and surgeons offer various spine surgeries such as Microdiscectomy, laser spine surgery, spinal fusion surgery, laminectomy, etc. 

But if you're suffering from chronic back and neck pain and want treatment options that completely heal the chronic back and neck pain, you should consider Deuk Laser Disc Repair.

Deuk Laser Disk Repair

Deuk Laser Disc Repair is a form of endoscopic spine surgery performed in a state-of-the-art outpatient surgery center under sedation while the patient relaxes. This procedure does not compromise or weaken the health and integrity of the spine.

In over 15 years of performing this procedure and over 1,300 patients treated, there has been a 95% success rate with no complications.

How Deuk Laser Disk Repair Works

Deuk Laser Disc Repair | How to Cure Lower Back Pain | Surgery For Lumbar Herniated Disc

To get started, Deuk Laser Disc Repair requires a very small incision, less than a quarter-inch long. A cylindrical rod called a dilator is inserted in the small opening to gently spread the muscle to create a small passage and guide through which the surgery is performed endoscopically. 

The tip of the dilator is advanced into the symptomatic disc through the tear in the annulus where the herniation originates, and a tube called the retractor slides over the dilator and is carefully positioned into the painful disc. The rest of the entire Deuk laser disc repair surgery will occur inside this narrow tube.

To access the spine, an endoscopic camera is inserted into the tubular retractor to allow the surgeon to guide the laser inside each symptomatic disc. This process ensures that bones and surrounding tissues are not damaged, unlike traditional spinal fusions, microdiscectomy, and artificial discs.

The Holmium YAG laser used in the Deuk Laser Disc repair is manipulated accurately with millimeter precision under endoscopic visualization to remove only painful inflammatory tissue from the disc. The laser is precisely used to remove damaged disc material that is causing the pain. 

Once the laser has removed the inflamed, painful part of the annular tear and the herniated nucleus pulposus, the endoscope and tubular retractor are removed, leaving less than one-quarter inch incision in the skin, which can be closed with a single stitch and a band-aid. 

The total time for the Deuk Laser Disc Repair surgery is one hour, and the patient is in recovery for about 45 to 60 minutes before being released to go home. Hospitalization is not needed, and the risks of hospital-based surgery are avoided. 

Also, with the Deuk Laser Disc Repair, there’s no loss of normal movement, and the flexibility of the disc and joint is preserved. With endoscopic Deuk Laser Disc Repair, there is no fusion, metal implants, or biological material added to the spine. The procedure is all-natural, allowing your body to heal the herniated or bulging disc.

After the surgery, the patient is back home, enjoying life with a speedy recovery allowing normal activities without pain. Another advantage of Deuk Laser Disc Repair is that no opioids or powerful narcotic painkillers are needed after surgery. 

Open spine surgeries like microdiscectomy, laminectomy, artificial disc replacement, and fusion cause so much internal trauma that patients are in severe pain after surgery and must take painkillers for weeks after their surgery but not with Deuk Laser Disc Repair.

Here’s what one of our patients had to say one hour after Deuk Laser Disc Repair:

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Cure your back and neck pain once and for all.

Deuk Laser Disc Repair has patients back on their feet within an hour, feeling zero pain
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About Deuk Spine Institute
World leader in Laser Spine Surgery
With world-class physicians on staff, the newest and most advanced technology, and a patient experience pathway that is unrivaled in it’s efficiency and and pedagogy of care, Deuk Spine Institute has performed thousands of procedures and achieves a 95% success rate in elimination of pain.

 The services we offer are not offered anywhere else in the world, and the treatments are curative, not palliative.  On top of that, Dr. Deukmedjian is personally invested in the well-being of each and every patient, and has spared no expense to guarantee the best possible outcomes.
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