This past April, Dr. Solomon Kamson visited Istanbul, Turkey for the 2014 meeting of the World Congress of the World Federation of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (WFMISS). The congress brings together surgeons and researchers specializing in minimally invasive spine treatments from all across the world the latest research findings and best practices that they have developed.
Dr. Kamson presented on a panel focused on less invasive surgical techniques for the spine. His presentation, titled “Full Endoscopic Lumbar Fusion Surgeries Performed in Outpatient Center – Outcomes Study,” looks at the outcomes of 32 minimally invasive fusion procedures performed at the Spine Institute Northwest. Of these, 12 patients were injured in motor vehicle accidents, 2 had this type of injury as well as work-related injuries, 2 experienced issues that were specifically work-related, 5 were injured in another way, and fully 10 patients were unable to determine the exact cause of their chronic pain. Though many of the patients opted for the procedure within 2 years of their injuries, 15 of the patients had waited 4 or more years before undergoing minimally invasive lumbar fusion. All of the patients had decompression performed at the fused level, and all had an outpatient procedure with just local anesthesia. All of the lumbar fusion patients had no complications within 72 hours of the procedure, and 62% of the patients had extremely minimal blood loss (less than 5 cc).
Looking at the longitudinal data, on average the patients experienced a substantial decrease in the pain they reported on the Visual Analog Scale (VAS) from before the procedure to how they felt upon discharge. Back pain went from an average of 7.29 to 3.95, and leg pain dropped from 5.5. on average to 2.66 as reported post operatively on average at 6 months.
Patients generally reported that they were pleased with the results of the surgery: of those that reported 91% were satisfied to some level, with 59% described themselves as a “great deal satisfied” with the fusion procedure, and almost 72% said they would recommend minimally invasive lumbar fusion. Almost 2/3 of the patients had returned to their work or regular activities within 6 months of the procedure.
The data provide evidence of positive long-term outcomes for minimally invasive lumbar fusion procedures. They also corroborate many of the claims in favor of minimally invasive spine surgery versus traditional open-back surgery: There were no immediate complications, and the majority of patients experienced minimal blood loss and returned to their regular routines in less 6 months. Most importantly though, on average patients enjoyed a substantial decrease in their back and leg pain.
Want to learn more? You can see data from the study, and download the presentation slides, on our Research page highlighting outcomes from minimally invasive lumbar and decompression.
The Spine Institute Northwest continues to not only collect data on our own patients’ outcomes, but also to stay abreast of the latest research, technology, and techniques. We are always striving to be able to provide our patients with ways to be rid of chronic pain, and get back their lives. Want to start your journey to a pain-free life? Contact us today at 206-496-0630!