Spine surgery continues to become more complex, but as surgeons take on more complex cases, technology advances to assist. Four spine surgeons provided their predictions for the future of minimally invasive spinal fusion procedures.
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Ali Araghi, DO. Director of spine at The CORE Institute in Phoenix.
Minimally invasive spinal fusions are here to stay. Those who choose to not offer or perform minimally invasive surgery, over time will experience significant attrition in their practice and surgical volumes.
Jeffrey Goldstein, MD. Chief of Spine Services, Education & Director of Spine Fellowship at NYU Langone Health in New York City.
I believe that the performance of robotics and navigation will enhance our ability to perform minimally invasive surgery. I would look forward to less radiation to patients and staff, improved precision and hopefully continued improvement in outcomes.
Michael Hisey, MD. Spine surgeon at Texas Back Institute in Plano, Texas.
I expect continued steady increases in the use of minimally invasive spine fusion techniques. As more surgeons become trained in and comfortable with the MIS techniques these will be offered to more patients with a broadening range of diagnoses. The early adopter surgeons have worked to refine the techniques and improve the results as they have navigated their way through the learning curve. The techniques are becoming more teachable and reproducible and are achieving comparable fusion and deformity correction results. At the same time, MIS implants, instruments and even guidance systems are steadily improving in reliability and usability. MIS was and continues to be a hit with patients who are demanding treatments that have shorter hospitalizations and quicker return to comfort and activities. This is true for all aspects of medical care, but is particularly true with spine fusions, because the previously long periods of discomfort and activity limitations after surgery. With greater demand and excellent results, there will be pressure on even the late adopter surgeons to integrate the newer and less invasive techniques into their practices.
Isador Lieberman, MD. Spine surgeon at Texas Back Institute.
Minimally invasive spine fusions will become more effective and efficient over the next five years. The technology available today including biologics and robotics will facilitate predictability in outcome, automation and precision of the technique. These factors will drive the evolution of spinal fusions to outpatient procedures.