Posts Tagged laser
Emerging Robotics and the Spine review by KBNI Houston, Katy, Sugarland, Woodlands, Spring, Conroe, Beaumont, Kingwood, Baytown
Emerging Robotics and the Spine
Conventional back surgery is a costly process with a long period of post-operative care. Depending on the severity of the damage to the spinal column, months of physical therapy may be necessary to re-develop damaged muscles and restore patient mobility. Physicians generally make deep lacerations into the muscles along the spinal column, prolonging the recovery process for the sake of having vision of the surgical site. In addition to prolonging recovery via requiring months of physical therapy, this practice also exposes the patient to a higher risk for surgical site infection (SSI). As such, surgeons are on the lookout for new techniques that minimize damage around the incision sites as well as maximize the chances for patient safety during recovery.
Minimally-invasive back surgery has improved upon traditional techniques by allowing for smaller, less destructive incisions at the surgical site. Rather than deep lacerations which are then pulled aside allowing the surgeon to see the injury, minimally-invasive back surgery uses a tubular retractor to open a direct pipeline to the site. Pieces necessary for the surgery, such as screws or plates to stabilize a compromised spinal column, are then fed through the tubular retractor to complete the surgery.
Robot-guided back surgery looks to further improve this process. Essentially, robot-guided back surgery uses a system that compiles data from a computerized tomography scan (CT scan) of each patient. This scan is then fed into a 3D planning system which allows the surgeon to make calculations in three-dimensional space prior to the surgery beginning. A robot also accompanies the surgeon during the operation, mainly to reduce the possibility of human error by indicating with a high degree of precision the places where the surgeon needs to make his or her adjustments. Ideally, robot-guided back surgery will serve to reduce the post-operative care period even further, necessitating less intensive physical therapy to regain patient mobility.
The laser is sometimes used in surgery. The laser is a tool which allows the surgeon to vaporize tissue, without the need for pulling or cutting it. The laser can cut, or coagulate, depending upon the type of laser, and the settings of the laser.
Nanotechnology (a field that involves changing the properties of matter on an extraordinarily small scale) also shows promising implications for a wide variety of medical disciplines, including back surgery. Presently, researchers are working on ways to regenerate damaged nerve cells in patients with spinal cord injuries, since these specialized nerve cells are unable to repair themselves. Nanotechnology may also be able to improve back surgery in the future by further reducing recovery time and allowing patients to retain a greater portion of their long-term mobility. The practices involved will likely lead to “smarter” medications that more efficiently bind to the body’s varying receptors, allowing patientsgreater control over their pain levels during post-operative care.
The Kraus Back and Neck Institute (KBNI) in Houston TX treats patients with neck and low back pain. Experts use non-surgical means when possible, but employ minimally invasive surgical techniques when appropriate. KBNI cares for patients in Houston and the surrounding areas, including Sugarland, Woodlands, Katy, Spring, Sealy, Baytown, Pearland, Beaumont, Galleria, Tomball, Conroe, Humble, Kingwood, Port Arthur, Galveston, Memorial City, Texas Medical Center (TMC) and other Texas TX cities including Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Austin.
Patients suffering from neck pain or lower back pain, or who have been told they may require a spine surgery, can contact the Kraus Back and Neck Institute at
……. Or visit www.SpineHealth.com to SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT ONLINE
Keywords: robot-guided, spinal column, back surgery, physical therapy, laser, Houston, Sugarland, Woodlands, Katy, Spring, Sealy, Baytown, Pearland, Beaumont, Galleria, Tomball, Conroe, Humble, Kingwood
SPINE PAIN, SCIATICA and LASER TREATMENT review by KBNI Houston, Katy, Woodlands, Sugarland, Kingwood, Beaumont, Memorial City, TMC (Texas Medical Center)
There is much discussion about the use of the laser for treatment of pain in the spine, or for treatment of pain radiating down the leg, known as sciatica. In order to understand more about this, it is necessary to have a better understanding of what is causing the pain, and what the laser actually does.
The laser is a device which delivers a high amount of focused energy into a small spot. The word LASER stands for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.” When used in the operating room, the laser allows the surgeon the ability to cut or vaporize tissue.
Pain in the lower back, and pain traveling down the lower extremities, is a very common problem facing society. The daily impact which the spine encounters as it keeps us erect and wrlking, constantly battling the forces of gravity, do take their toll upon the spine.
Next, let’s discuss what actually causes pain in the spine, or radiating pain in the lower extremity, known as sciatica. Pain in the spine can come from muscle or ligament strain and sprain, from pressure on nerves, from intervertebral disc injury or tears, or from injury to the facet joints (located between the different vertebral body levels). Pain in the lower extremities (sciatica) may result from pressure on the nerves, from a herniated disc or from arthritis. In order to relieve the pain, the pressure must be removed from the nerve. This can be achieved by removing the portion of the disc which is pressing on the nerve, or drilling away or otherwise removing the bone spur pushing on the nerve. In the event of removing the disc bulge, this can be done by cutting the disc, or pulling the fragment out, or burning or vaporizing this fragment with a laser.
When we are dealing with pain in the spine (low back pain), the pain can be coming from several sources, as indicated above. When the pain is coming from the facet joint, a procedure can be done to disable the sensory nerves going to the facet joint. This can be done by heating the nerves, either by a heated probe known as a rhizotomy, or by the use of a laser. The nerves which are targeted are known as the medial branches of the spinal nerves which leave the spine.
To summarize, treating back pain or spine pain requires understanding what the source of the pain is. Once this is determined, treatment of the problem can begin. The laser functions as a focused source of heat which can destroy or vaporize tissue. Other methods such as cutting or coagulating can provide a similar result. The laser serves among other tools in the armamentarium of a spine surgeon or pain specialist, but in itself, is still merely a tool. The critical role in treating pain of the spine or sciatica is diagnosing what is causing the pain. The source of the pain can be chronic, or sudden (such as whiplash from a motor vehicle injury).
Experts at the Kraus Back and Neck Institute (KBNI) in Houston focus on discovering what the source and cause of the pain is. They believe that it is only after the cause has been located, that the actual treatment can truly begin. Simply treating the symptom of pain, without trying to find the cause, is not a good long term solution.
The KBNI, in Houston, TX treats patients from Houston, Katy, Woodlands, Sugarland, Kingwood, Beaumont, Memorial City, and TMC (Texas Medical Center). Patients who are suffering from low back pain, neck pain, and sciatica are welcome to call for an appointment.
They can also visit the website www.spinehealth.com and schedule online.
No testing or imaging studies are needed to make an appointment. Experts at the KBNI will arrange for appropriate studies.
Tags: spine, pain, sciatica, laser, Houston, katy, woodlands, sugarland, kingwood, Beaumont, Memorial City, TMC (Texas Medical Center)