The most tissue-preserving disk surgery of the world

April 2010/ Thanks to a worldwide unique surgery method a herniated cervical disk can be treated in a more tissue-preserving way and more safely than ever. That's what Dr. Michael Schubert from the APEX SPINE Center Munich stated. While "open" surgery requires a cut at the neck of a length of five to eight centimeters, with the new technique a very small incision for the insertion of a 2,5mm thick working channel will do it.


The extruded part of the spinal disk will be removed with different kinds of minute instruments. Anesthesia will be just as small as the incision. The mini intervention will be carried out during a pleasant half-sleep, without the usual general anesthesia with all its associated adverse effects and risks. The required minute instruments for surgery were developed by Dr. Schubert himself: miniature reamers and forceps.

The cervical spine is a lot more delicate than the vertebral column in the lumbar region. As a rule the patient will be without pain directly after the intervention. With this innovative and tissue-preserving treatment the natural stability and mobility of the affected segment will be maintained. This is a great advantage compared to the widely-used conventional method where the entire spinal disk will be removed and substituted by a placeholder (like for example bone grafts, titanium-carbon cages or disk prostheses). As this is a large surgery with considerable risks, also in renowned clinics severe complications cannot always be ruled out.

The most important risk factor for a disk herniation in the cervical spine is low blood circulation through the outer rim of the disk. Small traumatic injuries or jobs, where sitting over long periods of time is required, will increase probability of a prolapse. Smoking causes bad blood circulation through the small capillaries. More than 10 cigarettes a day lead to a tenfold risk of suffering from problems with the cervical spine.

The revolutionary minimally invasive therapy was successfully carried out in up to now more than 200 patients by Dr. Schubert from the APEX SPINE Center. As no long hospital stays and extensive postoperative care are necessary and recovery times are very short, the total health-care costs are a lot lower with the minimally invasive technique than with conventional open surgeries.