What is a Thoracic IntelliSpine?
The IntelliSpine Thoracic Laser Procedure utilizes the posterolateral approach. During this procedure, the physician gains access to the problem disc through either the left or right side of the back, through a hollow needle—no incisions are made. This access allows for more complete decompression of the discs and is often used for more central protrusions and annular tears. Dye is injected into the disc space, and allows the physician to see the extent of disc degeneration as well as any tears in the disc. Minimally invasive instruments such as a laser or small graspers are used to reduce the herniated disc tissue and seal tears in the disc, thus decompressing the nerve.
Benefits of Thoracic IntelliSpine
The goal of the IntelliSpine Thoracic Laser Procedure is to reduce symptoms in the upper to mid back by relieving pressure on the nerves in the spinal canal. Compared to traditional approaches, the IntelliSpine Procedure creates considerably less surgical trauma, less bone and tissue damage, and results in fewer complications and a reduced recovery period. In addition, avoiding overnight hospital stays can also mean a lower out of pocket cost for the patient. Note: we do see patients whose previous spine surgeries are no longer providing them the relief they need.
Preparing for Thoracic IntelliSpine
This procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis, and the recovery period is typically much shorter than open spine surgery. While any surgery requires time to heal, many patients report immediate pain relief and are able to return to light activities the following day. More in-depth, customized recovery guidelines will be provided by your North American Spine physician.