What are the common causes of back and neck pain?
The most common causes of back and neck pain include poor posture, improper furniture and a poor posture while sitting. However, certain genes that you inherit from your family could predispose you to certain medical conditions that cause back pain. These include age related degenerative changes in the spine and congenital or developed deformity conditions like scoliosis.
However, there are certain specific medical conditions that could be the direct cause of your pain. These conditions differ on whether your pain is located in the neck or in the lower back. These include disc herniation, foramina stenosis or even a vertebral fracture.
What is Minimally Invasive Surgery or Endoscopic Surgery?
Minimally invasive Surgery and Endoscopic Spinal Surgery are fairly new techniques that have been developed in the past few decades. These procedures, as the name suggests are done through small incisions made on your back. These incisions are targeted to be just above the problem causing disk spaces.
These techniques are done through a small tube and thus prevent excess slicing of your back muscles and help you to heal faster. Dr. Varun Agarwal is an expert at both, endoscopic and minimally invasive spine surgery.
What are the benefits of Minimally Invasive and Endoscopic surgery?
Since endoscopic and minimally invasive surgery are both performed through a small tube inserted through the back muscles, there is less damage to the muscles and hence, there are a number of advantages that come with it. These include:
- Less post-operative pain
- Quicker recovery after the surgery
- Reduced Blood loss during the surgery
- Less damage to the muscles, ligaments and tendons in and around your spine
- Smaller surgical incisions on your skin (Better cosmetically)
- Less scarring of tissue
- Improved function of muscles after surgery
Hence, Dr. Agarawal recommends that you opt for these surgeries whenever possible. He is an expert in Minimally Invasive and Endoscopic Spine Surgery and has even established the first Minimal invasive and endoscopic spine center in Bareilly.
Am I A Candidate for Minimally Invasive or Endoscopic Surgery?
With the recent technological advancements in the field of Minimally Invasive Surgery, your doctor can perform most spinal surgeries through minimally invasive techniques. Even the most intricate of neck surgeries like cervical foraminotomy and cervical fusion can now be performed through small incisions on your neck. Lower back conditions and even spinal deformity conditions like scoliosis and kyphosis can now be treated through this new technique.
Endoscopic surgery is the newest method of spinal surgery and relatively few doctors can perform it. It involves insertion of a endoscope i.e. a video camera through your back to allow the surgeon to view your spine directly. Currently endoscopic surgery can be performed for both lumbar herniation conditions as well as excess stenosis of your spine.
Should I have surgery right away?
Your doctor will suggest surgery only if he feels that your condition is too severe or if he has exhausted all other non-surgical treatment options/
These treatment options include physiotherapy, manipulation, acupuncture and chiropractic adjustment. Research suggests that in certain conditions, physiotherapy and exercise have a huge impact on pain perception and pain management. Education in techniques for proper posture also serve to help your back gain a better structural support and may reduce pain.
There has been an observed trend in usage of epidural injections to reveal pain. Your doctor may suggest these to help you prevent surgery by relieving pain. However, these injections are not without side effects and if you need to take more than two a year, your doctor will suggest surgery for alleviation of pain.
For how long will I be in the hospital after Surgery?
In general, performing minimally invasive surgery decreases your hospital stay by half.
Depending on the severity of your condition before the procedure, you may be discharged on the same day or 2-3 days after your minimally invasive or endoscopic surgery. Deformity conditions especially have a complex recovery process and 2-3 days of hospitalization are necessary for the doctors to observe your progress and the nurses to take care of you.
Patient undergoing endoscopic discectomy have been shown to leave from the hospital on the same day even.
When can I go back to work after Minimally Invasive / Endoscopic Surgery?
Minimally Invasive and Endoscopic Surgery help the patient return to work much faster compared to traditional old approaches.
The decision of the patient to return to work should be a carefully evaluated one and changes from patient to patient. Depending upon the amount of physical work that is required by your job, the amount of time that you will need rest, changes. For patients with sedentary jobs such as office work, a basic discectomy surgery would allow the patient to go back to work within 1-2 weeks. However, if you have undergone a lumbar fusion, you need to wait for atleast 4-6 weeks before you go back to work.
What type of care will I have to take after I am discharged from the hospital?
You might be insight discomfort after your surgery but thanks to you decision to choose endoscopic or minimally invasive techniques, this pain has reduced to half. When you are discharged from Keshlata Hospital, your doctor will prescribe you certain pain killers that you can choose to take if your pain gets very bad.
Additionally, your doctor may prescribe you a brace. This brace will be for your comfort only. The minimally invasive surgeries preserve a lot of muscle function and usually involve insertion of implants that act as an internal brace and therefore, depending on your condition, you might not need to wear a brace. Studies show that most patients do not need the brace after 1-2 weeks from the date of surgery.
One of the most important aspects of post-operative care is physical therapy. Your doctor will make sure that he gets you in touch with a physiotherapist to ensure that you are performing certain exercises that will help strengthen your back muscles and help you recover faster.
Apart from this, you will be pretty-much independent and will be able to perform menial jobs in your house and go about your day without any hinderance.
After surgery, how long will it take for me to go back to normal?
Minimally Invasive and Endoscopic Surgeries help the patient to recover faster and resume daily activities much earlier compared to old and traditional approaches.
Recovery in each patient is different. Most patients regain full motion and return to normal daily activities with six weeks of surgery. After about 8-9 weeks, the patient can resume physically strenuous activities like running, calisthenics, etc. With respect to the pain, each procedure differs in the amount of time the pain lasts and in some cases it might not go away completely. However, research studies suggest that minimally invasive and endoscopic procedure reduce the time the pain lasts after surgery to half.
What are the disadvantages of Minimally Invasive/Endoscopic Surgery?
Minimally invasive spine surgery holds significant promise, in terms of less pain and more rapid recovery. However, it is important to keep in mind that this is a relatively new technology, and all new medical techniques are associated with a certain degree of uncertainty.
Furthermore, certain minimally invasive techniques are highly technical procedure and require significant training, and in cases where there is a lack of training the surgeon, complications may occur. Such complications can include inadequate decompression, nerve injury, infection or persistent pain.However, these are all risks that are associated with traditional and old methods as well.
Who does Endoscopic / Minimally Invasive Surgery in India?
Only a few orthopedic surgeons in India specialize in spine surgery and even fewer specialize in Minimally invasive surgery and even fewer perform endoscopic spine surgery. Dr. Varun Agarwal has specialised in Minimally Invasive Surgery and has taught a number of surgeons this artful technique.
Dr. Agarwal is at the forefront of the endoscopic surgical revolution that has taken India by surprise. Relatively few surgeons in the United States can perform this technique. Dr. Agarwal has worked hard to popularize this technique in India and has even established the first endoscopic spine center in Bareilly.
Why get operated in Keshlata Hospital under Dr. Varun Agarwal?
Dr. Agarwal has setup Minimal Access and Robotic Spine Surgery Center (MARSS) at Keshlata Hospital to provide world class spine care at affordable prices. Here we have all the latest technology like O-arm based navigation, Misonix ultrasonic bone scalpel, Minimal access spine surgery through tube retrators and percutaneous spine surgery through endoscopes.
We believe in advanced technology to provide safe spine surgery at affordable prices.
Patients are treated here with the utmost care and respect. Patients who are not affording are also given care through our charity work. There is a full time staff stationed at the hospital to ensure that your every need and requirement is looked after.
You will not only get the one the most experienced spine surgeons in India, but also a very highly trained and experienced surgical and clinical care staff.