One of the most exciting parts about being in the Spine Industry today are all of the innovations and developments that are becoming a way of life for patients across the country and the world. Here at Amendia, we know that you, as a spine patient, find these developments encouraging, too! Are you a patient who is considering spine care in 2016?
Here are the Top 4 innovations and developments you’ll want to know about when talking to your doctor:
- Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
If your spine surgery could be less invasive than similar procedures in the past, and you could recover faster, why wouldn’t you opt for it? Your fellow spine patients feel the same. Minimally invasive surgery for the spine, also known as MIS, is taking the spine industry by storm, backed by patient demand, and according to Becker’s Spine, favorable outcomes.
What’s the difference between MIS and “regular” spine surgery? The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons says that while the typical way of performing spine surgery is “open”, or with a large incision that allows the surgeon to view and access a patient’s anatomy, in contrast, a minimally invasive surgery does not involve a long incision, thereby avoiding more pain after surgery and lending to a smoother recovery.
You can learn more about open surgery and how it contrasts with MIS on the Amendia Patient Portal.
- Outpatient Spine Surgery Innovations
Outpatient and Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASCs) for spine surgery have become very popular and will continue to gain popularity in 2016. New developments like MIS allow doctors to perform spine surgery in an outpatient setting, instead of in the hospital, where you’ll have to stay longer. Furthermore, specialized instruments and high powered microscopes and endoscopes allow surgeries to occur in an outpatient and ASC environment. An outpatient environment shifts the focus to managing the patient’s pain. In essence, the two factors act on themselves, as the demand for outpatient surgery will help drive innovations, like the ones in lateral surgery over the last several years.
- Robotics for Spine
Image guidance and robotic technology are also revolutionizing spine surgery for patients. These innovations aim to make surgery easier for surgeons and less painful and more favorable for patient outcomes. While they support MIS, this medical technology is also important for the future of spine care because it provides the potential for more accurate surgeries. The key for outpatient centers, hospitals, and the surgeons themselves, is to keep spinal robotics both cost and time efficient for years to come.
- Spine Biologics
Some doctors believe that this year’s medical stem cell research will also provide a significant use for stem cells in biologics for the spine. Regenerative medicine is at the forefront of spine innovation, as many spine injuries are degenerative in nature, like disc degeneration and cartilage injury. Stem cell application is still largely in the future, though, so today’s working biologics will be the focus of 2016.
Innovative surface technologies will continue to be this year’s leading biologic story, with surface treatments like HA and HAnano that are created from hydroxyapatite. There will also be a predicted surgical move away from original, basic PEEK material, which has stayed so popular in the medical device industry for so long.
Patients: Which one of the Top 4 Spine Surgery Innovations in 2016 are you most excited to talk with your doctor about?
Did You Know? You can also find out more information about common spine conditions on our website.