There have been many technology advancements for spine care. An orthopedic spinal surgeon, Anthony Yeung, weighs in on his opinions on where he sees the future of spinal care. Dr. Yeung realized the need for minimalism in spine surgery when a close family member sustained a nerve injury of the spine after partial removal of the facet joint. The initial injury was a central disc herniation. His thoughts were focused on the idea that spinal surgery should be less invasive to avoid further injury, years of pain and disability. In this case, his mother progressed to a grade 2 spondylolisthesis. He was interested in a less invasive procedure to decompress original herniation.

The Future of Spinal Surgery: Minimally Invasivepatient and doctor discussing medicine

Dr. Yeung began to study the transforaminal decompression concept of Parviz Kambin. He began to see that the visual capabilities of the endoscope just may be a part of what he needed to implement his future vision of spinal surgery. In his interest to shape spinal surgery, he developed the Yeung Endoscopic Spine System in 1997. This system was designed for performing selective discectomy via an indigo dye stain for degenerative nucleus removal. Dr. Yeung took it further and combined the system with laser. Further development led to developing a multichannel irrigation endoscope that fit into a disc. The dual system lead to controlled removal of disc and the ability to see the tissue that needed to be removed.

He was able to visualize the nucleus pulposus during discectomy. The staining of the degenerative disc allowed him to be more selective in disc removal. Abnormal and normal parts of the disc were easily identified. Soon after developing the Yeung Endoscopic Spine System, he developed a bevelled cannula to facilitate view of the epidural space. Hinged discectomy instruments were also produced to assist visual inspection and discectomy to identify decompression of the existing and traversing nerve in the epidural space. These instruments also provided more flexibility in reaching the patho-anatomy.

Without a doubt, new developments and new technology over the decades has improved the techniques of spine surgery. The spine care specialists at Southeast Orthopedic offer minimally invasive spine surgery performed by board-certified orthopedic surgeons. With minimally invasive spine procedures, surgery can be performed as an outpatient or require a shorter hospital stay. If you’re considering spine surgery, turn to the experts at Southeast Orthopedic.

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