When Is It Time to Consider Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

"How do I know if it’s time for minimally invasive spine surgery?" - that's a great question.

If you’re thinking about surgery, you want to make sure the time is right. Some of the key signs that can help you decide are:
  1. Non-surgical treatment hasn’t been effective. In most cases, conservative therapy is the first option. However, if Physical Therapy or injection therapies have not given you lasting pain relief, surgery may be the next option.
  2. Your symptoms are getting worse. Increased pain, burning, weakness, numbness, and tingling are all signs that there is an underlying spinal issue that may need to be corrected surgically.
  3. Your work performance is suffering. Back or neck pain that’s causing you to perform poorly at work is a problem. If the same pain is causing you to miss work, that’s an even bigger problem.
  4. You can’t perform daily functions. Outside of work, there are other tasks that you perform on a daily basis that can become difficult due to pain. These can be as simple as bending over to tie your shoe, carrying a laundry basket or holding your children. If these activities have become seemingly impossible, it may be time.
  5. You can’t sleep. In many cases, pain can seem to be worse at night and this pain may make it difficult to find a comfortable position to sleep in or stay asleep for more than an hour or two. Not being able to sleep can make your pain worse. It can also affect your physical and emotional health.
  6. Diagnostic tests show your injury is getting progressively worse. If your spine injury gets worse, the surgery needed to correct the problem may become more complicated with a longer recovery time if neglected.

Dr. Anthony Virella is a Board-Certified, Fellowship trained Neurological Spine Surgeon with advanced training in the management of complex spinal disorders. He attended medical school at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and is a graduate of the UCLA Neurosurgery Residency Program. Dr. Virella is a nationally recognized specialist in the field of complex and Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery and has offices located in Agoura Hills, Valencia and Palmdale. If you, or someone you love, is suffering from persistent neck or back pain, contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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About Dr. Virella

  • Board-Certified Neurosurgeon
  • Fellowship Trained
  • Minimally Invasive Techniques


  • Agoura Hills
  • Valencia
  • Palmdale
Dr. Virella

(805) 449-0088

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