Minimally Invasive Back Surgery

With recent advances in technology, spine surgeons are now able to repair a number of back problems in a minimally invasive way, accessing the spine through small openings rather than a large incision. Dr. Daniel Gelb, an orthopaedic surgeon and spine specialist at the University of Maryland Medical Center, says that this approach can cut the length of time that patients must stay in the hospital, reduce pain and speed recovery.

Dr. Gelb, who is vice chairman and professor of orthopaedics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, also says that complicated surgeries - such as those involving several segments of the spine - might require a more traditional "open" approach. He tells Karen Warmkessel that surgeons always try to use the most effective treatment for each patient with a focus on minimally invasive techniques whenever possible.