Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
The minimally invasive spine program at the Irvine Spine and Pain Care Center brings together Neurosurgeons, Neurologists, Anesthesiologists, Nurse Practitioners and Therapists to provide comprehensive multidisciplinary care. Through advanced technologies, our surgeons can help patients get relief from a wide variety of spine conditions with less scarring and discomfort, lower infection risk and shorter recovery time.
What is Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?
Minimally invasive spine surgery aims to minimize damage to normal structures by using much smaller incisions. Through this technique, less open exposure of anatomy is needed to do the surgery, drastically decreasing the risk of chronic pain from permanent muscle damage. Use of minimally invasive techniques for the treatment of spine disorders has also led to decreased post-operative pain, dramatically lower blood loss, shorter hospital stays and more rapid returns to work.
What We Treat
Minimally invasive spine procedures are performed with endoscopic or microscopic visualization. The scars are usually smaller and recovery is usually quicker.
Through advanced technologies, our surgeons can help patients get relief from a range of spine conditions, including:
Disc Herniation-Cervical or Lumbar
Cervical or Lumbar Stenosis
Degenerative Disc Disease with Instability
Recurrent Disc Herniation
Pain Management and Therapy
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Bone and soft tissue injuries heal in many stages. One of the most exciting areas of research in orthopedic surgery and sports medicine involves making the most of the initial healing stages: inflammation and an increase in cells, or cell proliferation.
Platelet rich plasma (PRP) treatment is becoming a more popular option for giving a biological boost to the healing process.
PRP treatment has received significant attention from the media and has been used by many elite athletes from the NFL, NBA, NHL, PGA, and other sports.
What is PRP?
PRP is produced from a person's own blood. It is a concentration of one type of cell, known as platelets, which circulate through the blood and are critical for blood clotting. Platelets and the liquid plasma portion of the blood contain many factors that are essential for cell recruitment, multiplication and specialization that are required for healing.
After a blood sample is obtained from a patient, the blood is put into a centrifuge, which is a tool that separates the blood into its many components. Platelet rich plasma can then be collected and treated before it is delivered to an injured area of bone or soft tissue, such as a tendon or ligament.
PRP is given to patients through an injection, and ultrasound guidance can assist in the precise placement of PRP. After the injection, a patient must avoid exercise for a short period of time before beginning a rehabilitation exercise program.
Is PRP Treatment Effective?
Several basic science studies in animal models suggest that PRP treatment can improve healing in soft tissue and bone. For example, increased numbers of cells and improved tendon strength have been noted in Achilles tendon injuries, and improved muscle regeneration has been shown in gastrocnemius (calf) muscle injuries.
These favorable findings in animal models have led to the widespread use of PRP treatment for a variety of conditions, including acute and chronic tendon problems, as well as injuries to ligaments and muscles. Some early-stage clinical studies in humans have been promising, but are limited by their study design and few patients.
The most promising early results have been seen when PRP treatment is used for chronic tendon conditions, such as lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) and Achilles tendinosis, which impacts the Achilles tendon. Nonetheless, a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that there was no advantage to using PRP injection compared to saline (placebo) injection for the treatment of Achilles tendinosis.
In a small study involving knee osteoarthritis, PRP treatment was shown to be more effective than hyaluronic acid treatment. PRP has also resulted in positive or similar results when used in the treatment of rotator cuff tears and medial collateral ligament (MCL) injuries in the knee.
Overall, there is limited support of PRP treatment in published clinical studies. However, because PRP is created from a patient's own blood, it is considered a relatively low-risk treatment with the potential to improve or speed healing.
More studies are needed to prove the effectiveness of PRP treatment and to research the best ways to standardize the treatment's preparation.
Concerns Involving PRP Treatment
Because PRP is given in the hopes of optimizing the initial inflammatory response of healing, anti-inflammatory medications should likely be stopped at the time of PRP treatment.
Study Reveals that PRP Can Cure Hard-to-Treat Low Back Pain
Epoch Times—June 12, 2015
Epoch Times reports that a Hospital for Special Surgery study indicates that platelet-rich-plasma (PRP) can cure low back pain that is typically difficult to treat.
"Some people were 100 percent improved. … It’s truly a cure if you can get the tear to heal," said Dr. Gregory Lutz, physiatrist at Hospital for Special Surgery.
To learn more, visit www.theepochtimes.com.