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What Is Sideways Back Surgery? - Dr. Kam Raiszadeh (VIDEO)

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Dr. Raiszadeh describes sideways back surgery and the conditions it helps to treat.

Dr. Raiszadeh:
Sideways back surgery is taking an approach which instead of coming down directly on the back and having to expose the back muscles, is coming in from the side. Now as you can see, this patient here is lying on their side like this. So, what you are noticing is that if you were to look on the inside of the spine where the spine lies, you notice there’s a large muscle there that’s called the psoas muscle, and that muscle carries in it a lot of nerves. So the, and surrounding that also is the abdominal cavity.

So one of the big advances that has occurred in this type of approach is to be able to pull the abdominal contents out of the way, go down in and expose that disc, and move those nerves out of the way safely. That has been a phenomenal approach because once you do that, you have direct exposure to the whole side of the disc, and that’s a lot of exposure to do everything you need to do in a very minimally invasive fashion.

The conditions that are best treated with the sideways approach include disc disruption, number one. Number two: spondylolisthesis. And number three, scoliosis. So a lot of people have disc disruptions that limit their quality of life, and then they have pain any time they move, bend, lift, twist. That type of patient who has a disc that just cannot be repaired by any other method, this is a terrific approach for stabilizing the disc.

Now the other condition would be scoliosis in patients who have scoliosis. This approach is great because you can approach multiple discs through very small incisions. So standardly, we would have to expose this to a very large incision and with a lot of abdominal scarring and other problems that occur with that. The scoliosis now, with this procedure, you can do that very easily.

And the other condition is called spondylolisthesis where there is actually instability of the spine, and that’s very well treated with this procedure. With sideways back surgery, the rehabilitation is a lot faster because the muscles aren’t disrupted. So the in-hospital stay is usually one to two days, and patients are up, walking around right away, and this contrast to the standard spine surgery where anywhere from three to five days of hospital stay, a lot more use of pain medication, and a lot more post-operative delay in return to function.

About Dr. Raiszadeh, M.D.:
Kam Raiszadeh, MD, serves as medical director of the Advanced Spine Institute & Minimally Invasive Spine Center at Alvarado Hospital. Dr. Raiszadeh is board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and an active member of the Scoliosis Research Society and North American Spine Society.