Dr. Alfred Ogden has spent a lot of time performing and researching minimally invasive spine (MIS) surgery. As one of a small number of surgeons with such in-depth training, he is often asked to share his knowledge with his peers.
MIS surgery can be performed on both the cervical and lumbar spine for a variety of conditions. The benefits include smaller incisions, less pain, and quicker recovery times. MIS techniques can be used during traditional procedures such as spinal decompression, fixation, and fusion.
MIS surgery is complex and requires the use of sophisticated technology: this includes lasers; computer-assisted navigation systems; operating microscopes; and tiny video cameras.
Many of the innovative techniques developed for these procedures came out of familiar concepts used in brand-new ways: these include the use of inflatable tubes that gently keep muscles out of the way; and small guide wires that allow surgeons to place bone screws through small skin incisions.
Dr. Ogden‘s neurosurgical training was largely focused on the use of these techniques and tools. After his residency training, he completed a special fellowship in minimally invasive spine surgery at Northwestern. He is now part of the faculty at Columbia University Medical Center, where he directs the minimally invasive spine surgery program.
This month, Dr. Ogden was invited to speak at Weill Cornell Medical College for their 8th annual Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery and Navigation hands-on symposium.
There he gave two talks: one on the biomechanics of MIS decompression and another on MIS and radiation.
This fall, he also shared his expertise with neurosurgeons from around the world. At the 2014 meeting of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, Dr. Ogden was part of the faculty for a hands-on course about minimally invasive spine surgery.
The course was intensive, lasting a full day. Attendees learned how to incorporate minimally invasive techniques into their approach to surgery on both the cervical (upper) and lumbar (lower) spine.