Our spine specialists – Dr. John Knightly, Dr. Scott Meyer, Dr. Jonathan Baskin, Dr. Jay Chun and Dr. Louis Noce – are experts in traditional and cutting-edge surgical techniques. They perform the most minimally invasive spine surgeries in the state of New Jersey. Minimally invasive techniques result in shorter hospital stays, faster recovery times and lower complication rates.
Our experts leverage “Big Data” to develop evidence-based care plans for even the most complex spine conditions. Using clinical data that measure the quality and efﬁcacy of common spinal and neurosurgical procedures, we identify the right treatment for the right patient at the right time.
Types of Spine Surgery
Complex Open Spine Surgery
During traditional open back surgery, our surgeon accesses your spine through an incision. The surgeon moves the muscles to the side in order to see the spine. With the muscles pulled to the side, the surgeon can access the spine to remove diseased and damaged bone or intervertebral disks. The surgeon can also easily see to place screws, cages and any bone graft materials necessary to stabilize the spinal bones and promote healing. Conditions such as a herniated disc in the lumbar area often require this complex surgical technique.
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
Conversely, minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) pushes muscles out of the way. Guided by advanced spine imaging, small spinal problems such as bone spurs and disc fragments can be easily seen, diagnosed and treated through small incisions. MISS results in reduced blood loss, post-operative pain and narcotic use, soft tissue damage and number of days spent in the hospital. On average, patients have a faster recovery, returning to normal activity and work faster. Common conditions that MISS can be used to treat include vertebral osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis and a herniated disc.
Imaging Used During MISS
Our surgeons use computer-assisted imaging guidance to view the operative site in great detail and with great clarity. Images taken prior to surgery are merged with those taken during surgery. Together, they provide real-time views and enable our surgeons to operate with a high level of precision and safety. Implants – such as rods and screws – can be inserted and positioned with extreme accuracy compared to conventional techniques.
Surgical Approaches and Common Procedures
Whether you are undergoing complex or minimally invasive spine surgery, here are some surgical approaches – ways your spine can be accessed – and procedures you may want to know.
Your surgeon can access your spine through:
- The front of your body – your abdomen – known as the “anterior approach”
- An incision in your back – the “posterior approach”
- Your side – the “lateral approach”
You may undergo one of these common spine surgical procedures:
- Discectomy or micro-discectomy (MISS): removal of a herniated disc to alleviate pressure from a compressed nerve.
- Laminectomy: removal of the thin bony plate on the back of the vertebra, relieving pressure by creating additional space in the spinal canal.
- Laminotomy: removal of a portion of the vertebral arch that covers the spinal cord. A laminotomy relieves pressure by removing less bone than a laminectomy.
- Foraminotomy: removal of bone or tissue at/in the passageway where nerve roots branch off from the spinal cord and exit the spinal column.
- Disc replacement: replacement of an injured disc with an artificial one.
- Spinal fusion: A surgical technique used to join two vertebrae. Spinal fusion stabilizes the spinal vertebrae and eliminates movement between the bones. It may involve a bone graft – using your own bone or donor bone – with or without instrumentation such as rods and screws.