FAQ

See below for frequently asked questions. If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our friendly and caring staff are here to help you with any queries you have. 

The surgeons at Keyhole Spine Centre commonly treat the following spinal conditions:

  • Lumbar disc prolapse 
  • Cervical disc prolapse 
  • Spinal canal stenosis
  • Spinal spondylolisthesis
  • Spinal tumours
  • Syringomyelia
  • Spinal cord compression

Minimally invasive (keyhole) surgical techniques are well established across all surgical specialties. This technique offers greater precision and a shorter procedure than traditional open surgery, resulting in faster recovery.

Typically, a standard open laminectomy would involve a hospital stay of 3 or 4 days.

Patients who undergo minimally invasive lumbar decompression at The Keyhole Spine Centre are usually discharged within 24 hours of admission. Patients treated for a lumbar disc prolapse can usually be managed as a day case.

Within Australia, a valid referral is required to access a Medicare rebate for spinal surgery services. 

Imaging studies of the spine are critical to the assessment of a patient and the formulation of an effective treatment strategy. If you have had relevant radiological studies, our surgeons at Keyhole Spine Centre can more effectively triage (prioritise) referrals for appointments.

You will need to discuss pre-referral radiology with your referring general practitioner. Our surgeons are happy to offer guidance to referring practitioners.

As a minimum, patients with problems in the lumbar spine causing back and leg pain should have had a CT of the lumbar spine performed. Other investigations, such as MRI, might also be requested by your neurosurgeon. Patients with pathology in the cervical spine, causing arm pain or spinal cord compression, should have had an MRI scan performed. These studies can all be requested by your general practitioner and will attract a Medicare rebate.

Out-of-pocket costs for spinal surgery vary widely, depending on your health insurance cover, Medicare rebates, and the treatment required.

To assist your decision-making process, you will be clearly informed of any out-of-pocket costs that apply to your treatment, well in advance. Our Bookings Team will provide you with further information at the time of your consult with the Neurosurgeon.

After spinal surgery, you will be assessed in hospital by the one of the physiotherapists. They will provide you with advice on activities and exercises that you should do to optimise your recovery and rehabilitation. Some patients, particularly if elderly, may benefit from inpatient rehabilitation and this can be organised during your stay as required. Once you return home, you should engage with your local physiotherapist to continue your rehabilitation and optimise return to usual activities.

The time frame for when you can return to driving after keyhole spine surgery varies considerably, depending upon the procedure you have had and your rate of recovery. Your surgeon will be able to provide you with more specific advice regarding return to driving in your particular case. Additionally, your physiotherapist can be very helpful in providing advice about when you are able to drive.

Most patients who participate actively in sports are able to return to play following keyhole spine surgery. The timing of resumption of sporting activity depends upon the particular activity and what sort of spinal problem or operation you have had. Physiotherapy and your rehabilitation activities will be critical in helping you return to sport in the most timely fashion.

Yes, all the main spinal surgery procedures that we perform by keyhole techniques will usually require a general anaesthetic.

This varies according to the surgical procedure and patient factors such as general health, social support at home etc. In general though, as a rough guide the average patient stay for common procedures would be as follows:

  • Minimally Invasive Lumbar discectomy: Day case or 1 night stay
  • Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression: One night stay
  • Minimally Invasive Lumbar Fusion : 2 to 3 nights post-operative stay
  • Cervical discectomy (ACDF or foraminotomy): 1 night stay