By Mario Sertich, M.D.
AxiaLIF® is the least minimally invasive fusion option for the lumbar sacral junction of the spine. The AxiaLIF system employs a novel approach to accessing the lowest portion of the lumbar spine through a percutaneous opening via the sacral bone. The technique is performed through a 2 cm skin incision, through which specially designed instrumentation is inserted to conduct the procedure. This minimally invasive access enables surgeons to perform lumbar fusion without the major dissections of the surrounding spinal soft tissue structures associated with conventional fusion surgery. Operative time is under an hour, compared to nearly 2-3 hours with conventional fusion surgery. Reduced surgical trauma, less blood loss and shorter operative time means that the patient will experience faster recovery.
Dr. Mario Sertich and Dr. Gale Hazen (NeuroSpinecare, Inc.) have been performing this minimally invasive procedure since 2007. The same procedure that was featured on ABC World News Report November 2008. This minimally invasive approach allows patients to be discharged from the hospital the day after surgery, and on average return to work in 15 days. This is a dramatic reduction in hospital lengths of stay, which can otherwise run three to four nights, followed by a one- to two-month recovery period before returning to work. Reports from the marketplace indicate that a growing number of AxiaLIF lumbar fusion surgeries are being performed on an out-patient basis, with patients able to safely and comfortably return home the same day as their fusion surgery.
Every year, 40 to 60 percent of American adults suffer from chronic back pain and more than one million spine surgery procedures are performed annually in the United States with medical costs to treat back pain approaching $24 billion per year. The AxiaLIF procedure is estimated to be less costly than open surgeries. The main savings are in the dramatic decrease in operating room time, length of stay, less need for post surgical pain medication and more rapid rehabilitation.
Since July 2009 more than 7,000 cases have been completed in the U.S.
Mario Sertich, M.D. is with Neurospine Care, Inc., located at 5319 Hoag Dr., Suite 100, Sheffield Village. Phone: (440) 930-6015.