Public Release: 

Quality of life improves with minimally invasive surgery for low back pain

Beaumont research: Minimally invasive back surgery outcomes show favorable results

Beaumont Health System


IMAGE: Dr. Perez-Cruet performs minimally invasive back surgery. view more

Credit: Beaumont Health System

Beaumont research findings published in the February online issue of Spine shows that patients who have a low back surgery called minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion, end up better off in many ways than patients who have more invasive surgery to alleviate debilitating pain.

"About 90 percent of adults experience low back pain in their lifetime, which can be caused by spinal instability, stenosis, spondylolisthesis, and symptomatic degenerative disc disease," says Mick Perez-Cruet, M.D., neuro-spine surgeon at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak and professor, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine.

The Beaumont study, led by Dr. Perez-Cruet, found that minimally invasive procedures with smaller incisions can reduce chronic low back pain, hospital stays, complications and scarring. It also can lower costs and infection rates compared with more invasive, open procedures.

The seven-year study looked at 304 patients who received the minimally invasive procedure. There were 120 men and 184 women with a mean age of 62.4 years, ranging from 19 to 93 years.

"Patients have demonstrated a very high rate of satisfaction with the minimally invasive technique. The majority of my patients are completely pain free and have returned to work and daily activities and have an improved quality of life," explains Dr. Perez-Cruet.

Chronic low back pain occurs mostly between ages 30 and 50, due in part to aging but also because of inactive lifestyles with too little exercise, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Lower back pain may be caused by nerve or muscle irritation or bone lesions. Most low back pain follows injury or trauma to the back, but pain may also be caused by degenerative conditions such as arthritis or disc disease, osteoporosis or other bone diseases or congenital abnormalities to the spine. Obesity, smoking, weight gain during pregnancy, stress and poor physical condition may contribute to lower back pain.


About Beaumont Neuroscience

The Neuroscience department at Beaumont treats all neurological conditions of the brain and spine for children and adults including stroke, epilepsy, Chiari malformation, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and migraine, among others. Beaumont also has a number of Neurology subspecialty clinics; a Neuromuscular Clinic for children; a Pediatric Epilepsy Clinic; and a Craniofacial Clinic. Other highly-specialized neuroscience programs include spine surgery, interventional neuroradiology, clinical neurophysiology, multidisciplinary neuro-oncology and pediatric neurology and neurosurgery. The Neuroscience Center of Excellence consists of a multidisciplinary team of neurologists, otolaryngologists, neuroradiologists, neuro-oncologists, neurosurgeons, craniofacial and skull base surgeons and ophthalmologists. Beaumont will open a new 81,000 square-foot Neuroscience Center in 2014. All three Beaumont hospitals are recognized as "high performing" centers for neurology and neurosurgery by U.S. News & World Report. Find out more at

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