2808 W. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Tampa FL 33607 (813) 872-9200 (800) 224-5202
Chronic back pain

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Candidate

Are you a minimally invasive surgical candidate?

Identifying yourself as a minimally invasive surgical candidate can be achieved by first noting that your condition is not a neurosurgical emergency as defined by the absence of paralysis affecting the lower extremities, no loss of bowel, bladder or erectile dysfunction, no evidence of a spinal infection, and the lack of a history of a spinal cord tumor or major spine trauma with acute pain and loss of function. Additionally, you have the knowledge that you do not want a spine fusion or open surgical procedure. When these factors are determined in the initial consultation, the process follows the established guidelines of the "Agency for Health Care Quality Review," a government agency that assesses new surgical procedures to determine their effectiveness and benefits for patients when compared to the risks involved. All forms of surgery have the inherent risks of potential infection, nerve injury, allergic reaction, or complications of failure, or re-herniation ( a 10% chance in all types of surgery).

The National Health Care Guidelines identify the types of back surgery and when they should be performed. Surprisingly, Fusion back surgery is recommended to be performed only in patients with documented spine instability due to trauma, cancer, or congenital defects. Presence of a degenerative disc or the performance of a discectomy is NOT an indication for spine fusion surgery, but it is the most common situation for which it is performed. Fusion surgery is performed to treat spinal instabiity as documented with flexion/extension radiological studies NOT as a preventative measure for undocumented instability. However, in the United States, the spine fusion hardware manufacturers promote fusion based on the medical economics of the procedure. Government recommendations on surgery are listed in the following order when determined by greatest benefit with the least amount of risk, and the best outcomes. Endoscopic discectomy is recommended first, then microdiscectomy, laminotomy, decompression and lastly spine fusion surgery.

Spinal Stenosis Decompression Surgery

The Federal Drug Administration, FDA, approved the Vertiflex Superion equipment to change the lives of patients suffering from spinal stenosis in the lumbar spine. In May 26, 2015, this approval comes after a successful 470 patient IDE study of the Superion system. VertiFlex’s press release highlighted the following results from the IDE study:

  • Largest, most robust IDE device trial for moderate lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Superion demonstrated clinical success of >80% in all major components of the composite primary endpoint at 24 months, maintaining durability of effect through 36 months
  • Superion patients exhibited similar leg pain improvement, as measured by VAS, compared to published literature on open surgical decompression
  • Healthcare economic data was captured, demonstrating Superion’s cost-effective equivalency to open surgical decompression

Dr. Flynn has been chosen as a leader in the implantation of the Interspinous Decompressor, Vertiflex Superion for the treatment of Spinal Stenosis. Dr. Flynn reports,

“Before the moment I performed the procedure on my first patient, a 91 y.o. female with severe pain while walking and standing, I knew this surgery was life altering and safe. The surgery was performed under local IV sedation in the outpatient surgery center. To see the surprise and joy in the patient’s eyes when she walked in recovery with no leg pain and stood erect, reminds me once again why I became a doctor. Having this surgery to offer my patients will end their years of suffering, repetitive epidural steroid injections and needles pain pills.”

Transforaminal Endoscopic Discectomy

Transforaminal Endoscopic Discectomy or T.E.D., is the primary procedure performed with the JOIMAX Transforaminal Endoscopic Surgical Systems or TESSYS, originated from Germany under the design team of Maxwell Reis a german medical doctor and mechanical medical engineer. This system is widely used in the USA, Germany, The Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy, and South Korea. The surgery is performed in an outpatient setting under "algoanesthesia", defined as the patient is able to respond to the surgeon, but comfortable and with minimal discomfort during the surgery. The communication between surgeon and patient creates a safe environment for the patient and enables the patient to give feedback on the progress of the surgery and notify the surgeon when the nerves are stimulated. The patient is on their side.

The incision is less than the width of your fingernail. Recovey time is minimal with work restrictions for the first month followed by a vigorous spine muscle reconditioining program. Dr. Flynn and his staff follow a defined clinical algorithm to direct your care.

Back Pain

Back Pain

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Treatment Options

Other Treatment Options

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Clinical Algorithm for Surgery

Clinical Algorithm for Surgery

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Transforaminal Endoscopic Discectomy

Transforaminal Endoscopic Discectomy

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The incision is less than the width of your fingernail. Recovey time is minimal with work restrictions for the first month followed by a vigorous spine muscle reconditioining program.

— Dr. Gregory T. Flynn, M.D.