What is anterior back surgery and how is it beneficial?

Anterior back surgery is a kind of spine surgery which is performed to relieve the patient of pain and/ or other issues caused by a problem in the back. Depending upon the patient, their condition and their diagnosis, the surgeon may need to perform the operation as an open surgery or by using minimally invasive technique.

As laymen, we tend to believe that while operating it is easier to get to the spine through the back, but Dr. Jwalant Mehta explains here that, what is actually true is that most of the spine is better accessed from the front, by entering through the belly of chest. While doing this the muscle and collateral damage is much less. As the physiological damage is reduced in such a procedure the recovery is faster as compared to when the spine is accessed through the back.

This procedure gives a lot of scope to the surgeons as a lot can be done this way in relation to deformity corrections and fusions- for tumor, trauma and degenerative conditions, when surgery is performed anterially. The outcomes with anterior surgery are superior as compared to posterior surgery.

Although for maximum benefit of both surgeries in certain cases, they are combined to deliver better results.

The anterior back surgery approach proves advantageous in a way that unlike posterior back surgery and postero lateral gutter approaches, both of the patients back muscles and back nerves remain undisturbed, which aids in a speedy recovery for the patient. One more advantage of this procedure is that, the bone graft is placed in front of the spine, and in doing so it is placed in compression. And when a bone is placed in compression it tends to fuse better.

For a fusion surgery it is even more advantageous as a bigger implant can be inserted through an anterior back surgery approach as it provides better initial stability.