Reasons You Might Need Back Surgery

It’s best to undergo conservative therapy for back issues whenever possible. Sometimes, however, a ruptured disc or other condition requires surgery for pain relief and improved mobility. Fortunately, advanced technology and improved techniques make back surgery a better alternative than in decades past.

Dr. Patrick Doherty is a top-rated neurosurgeon who leads our team here at Yale Neurosurgery New London in New London, Connecticut. Widely respected for his surgical skills, Dr. Doherty is considered a pioneer and current expert in helping develop less invasive surgical techniques with advanced technology such as robotic spine surgery.

Learn what’s possible with robotic back surgery and when you might need it.

When back surgery might be your best option

Although he’s well-known for his surgical skill, Dr. Doherty also has a stellar reputation for treating painful back issues conservatively whenever possible. For many patients, effective treatments include guided physical therapy, a period of back rest followed by activity modification, lifestyle changes such as weight loss, and medication to reduce painful inflammation.    

However, when rest, changes in activity, and other conservative therapies don’t offer adequate pain relief or restore sufficient mobility, Dr. Doherty may recommend back surgery as your best treatment option.

What can you treat with back surgery?

Many conditions that can cause debilitating pain and interfere with your ability to live an active life respond well to surgery. 

These issues include:

If you do need surgery, Dr. Doherty takes his commitment to patient comfort and effective results to the next level by offering robotic surgery when appropriate.

What is robotic back surgery?

Robotic back surgery utilizes advanced computer technology to assist surgeons in performing the very precise and intricate movements required for spinal surgery. It’s probably best described as robot-assisted surgery since your surgeon remains in control throughout the procedure.

At Yale Neurosurgery New London, we perform back surgery with the ExcelsiusGPS® system. This advanced platform offers a superior design that includes GPS guidance for increased accuracy. Because it’s less invasive than traditional surgery, it often leads to improved patient comfort and response during recovery.

What does “less invasive” mean?

Traditional or “open” back surgery requires a long incision that must travel through skin and muscle to expose the targeted treatment area.

Less invasive back surgery uses very small incisions and specialized instruments that tunnel through rather than cut away muscle tissue. A tiny camera is inserted along with the surgical instruments and provides your surgeon with a high definition, real-time view of the surgical site.

Benefits of this less invasive approach include less bleeding and decreased risk of infection as well as a quicker recovery time following the procedure.

For effective treatment for back pain, including surgery, schedule a visit at Yale Neurosurgery New London. Call our office or request an appointment online.

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