Chicago Ascends To World Epicenter for Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery

The big revolution in back and neck pain is minimally invasive same day surgery. At this year's global convention of minimal spine surgeons almost half of all publications will be from a single Chicago orthopedic center

Next month spinal surgeons worldwide meet in Miami at Global Forum 14 of the Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery.

Attendees will hear 96 presentations.

Almost half will come from a single institution: Rush University Medical Center.

In fact 40 presentations will come from a team headed by Dr. Kern Singh, Rush Assoc. Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Co-Director of the Minimally Invasive Spine Institute (MISI) at Rush.

MISI at Rush has become the epicenter of a worldwide revolution in less invasive back and neck surgery. The institute’s dominance is reflected by Midwest Orthopedics at Rush recently rated the 6th best orthopedic center nationwide and the highest ranked center in Illinois by US News and World Report.

“We’ve reached an inflection point,” says Dr. Singh. “Almost any spinal procedure from a slipped disk to scoliosis can now be done minimally invasively. That means using smaller incisions and largely sparing the back muscles.” Currently over 400,000 spinal fusions alone are done in the U.S. every year.

Dr. Frank Phillips, also an MISI co-director and Board Member and North American President of the Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery, says “We’re talking about replacing a five day hospital stay and two quarts of blood loss to a same day or overnight stay with less pain and minimal blood loss.

In fact, that lack of blood loss is the topic of one of MISI’s presentations. Among 32 slipped disk patients Rush researchers found blood loss during minimally invasive disk removal was so low that, incredibly, routine post-operative blood count tests were unnecessary.

Another MISI presentation shows that unlike traditional open surgery, obese patients receiving a minimally invasive disk removal had the same outcome as normal weight patients. Their operative time, blood loss, and hospital stay were identical. 

Rush’s surgeons have over a decade of experience using minimally invasive surgery. Dr. Phillips recently published the seminal paper demonstrating that a minimally invasive technique could also be used to correct scoliosis.

The two minimally invasive pioneers have largely lead a worldwide push toward their new procedures.  The pair helps develop these techniques and travels worldwide teaching them to colleagues. They’ve also published dozens of papers showing the approach’s benefits (which include reducing medical costs.) They’ve been voted among America’s top spine surgeons by U.S. News and World Report and numerous medical publications.

In 2012, Drs. Phillips and Singh established the Minimally Invasive Spine Institute at Rush. The institute is part of Midwest Orthopedics at Rush. The institute routinely attracts patients from around the world.

“Next month’s event is an honor,” says Dr Singh. “But that’s not our goal. Our goal is make minimally invasive spine surgery the standard of care for almost every back and neck pain patient in America.”



Categories: Exercise and Physical Fitness, Surgery, Sports Medicine

Tags: back, minimally invasive, neck, pain, spine

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