Direct Thoracic Interbody Fusion
What is a DTIF?
One of the many advanced minimally invasive spinal surgeries pioneered by Inspired Spine, the MIS-DTIF, stands for "minimally invasive direct thoracic interbody fusion." This procedure is an updated version of traditional, invasive surgeries that can treat mid-back pain. It is just as effective in providing spinal pain relief – but with a fraction of the risk and healing time.
Disorders and pain in the mid-back (thoracic area) are not nearly as common as neck or lower back trouble, because it is the least flexible part of the spine, which acts as an anchor to the rib cage. However, the spinal canal is narrower in this area than in other parts of the spine, and the vertebrae and discs are thinner, so when injury or disease does occur, it may have more of an impact here.
Who Does MIS-DTIF Help?
MIS-DTIF helps patients with a range of problems focused on their mid-back or thoracic area. It is an excellent option for those whose pain is from degenerative disk disease, when the discs between vertebrae degenerate from injuries or daily stress. Those with pain from herniated discs will also benefit; that condition occurs when the central area of the disk bulges out, leading to either nerve compression or inflammation and related pain. Following the MIS-DTIF, patients experience significant pain relief.
The Advantages of MIS-DTIF
Because of its nature, the MIS-DTIF procedure comes with all the benefits associated with other Inspired Spine advanced minimally invasive spinal surgeries. The time spent on the operating table is much shorter, reducing patient risk. In fact, MIS-DTIF can be done by just one surgeon while traditional treatments for this area require a minimum of two surgeons. Surgeons will also find the procedure to be more straightforward once they become familiar with it.
Between the shorter operating time, smaller incision, and less invasive nature of the MIS-DTIF, there are other significant advantages:
- Decreased blood loss
- Reduced risk of infection
- Shorter hospital stay, sometimes a matter of hours instead of days
- NO cutting or removal of bone or muscle tissue
- Less trauma to you and your body
- Faster recovery time
What Happens During MIS-DTIF?
Because of the thoracic spine's connection to the ribcage, it presents a unique set of challenges for surgeons performing fusions surgery. The MIS-DTIF was developed to counter these challenges. It provides the numerous advantages mentioned above over traditional surgeries to treat this area.
During MIS-DTIF, the patient lies in a prone position, and there is no need to adjust positions. The surgeon makes a small 1-centimeter incision (smaller than the diameter of a dime) and uses this portal to remove the damaged disk and replace it with a biocompatible polymer implant and bone graft material.
The implant ensures the vertebrae keeps the proper spacing during fusion. In most cases, the fused portion of the spine will be stabilized with facet or pedicle screws. During recovery, the patient's body will produce new bone mass that fuses the adjacent vertebrae.
Backed by Research
As with any other medical procedure that is performed on patients, the MIS-DTIF has been supported by scientific research in the form of clinical studies. Researchers found that the surgical time is significantly less than that of other comparable thoracic spine procedures. The hospital stay was also reduced by half, with no patient requiring more than three days in the hospital.
In the best-case scenario, the MIS-DTIF will only take 45 minutes to complete, and the patient will be able to leave the hospital without staying overnight. They will then return to their normal daily lives in just a fraction of the time it would take to recover from other fusion surgeries.
Are You a Candidate for MIS-DTIF?
Have you suffered from mid-back and arm pain for 6 months or longer? Have you been diagnosed with thoracic disc disease or a curvature of the spine? Have you tried conservative treatments with no relief? Then you may be a perfect candidate for the Inspired Spine MIS-DTIF procedure.