Spine surgery is usually performed to improve spine stability and relieve pain due to compression of spinal nerves. The procedure may involve removal of bone or other tissues leaving the spine unstable and prone to injury. To stabilize the spine after surgery and to relieve pain, your doctor may fuse adjacent vertebrae with the help of a bone graft. As the bones fuse together, the spine is usually stabilized with instruments. Percutaneous instrumentation involves passing instruments through the skin to stabilize the spine. The instruments are available in different shapes/sizes and are usually made of stainless steel or titanium.
Percutaneous instrumentation commonly involves the placement of pedicle screws. The pedicles are plates of bone on either side of the spinal canal. Screws are passed through the pedicles and enter the main vertebral body. These screws are fixed to rods that hold adjacent vertebrae in a correct relation to one another as they fuse.
Percutaneous instrumentation may be performed while treating degenerative joint disease, spinal trauma, spondylolisthesis, scoliosis, or a tumor.
Spinal instrumentation initially required an open surgery to cut or dissect muscles over the spine, but it can now be performed through minimally invasive techniques such as percutaneous instrumentation where only small incisions are made, and the procedure is carried out under image guidance.
The benefits of minimally invasive percutaneous spine surgery include
- Faster and safer procedure
- Less damage to surrounding tissues
- Better cosmetic result
- Recovery and rehab are usually quick