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TOA surgeon, Dr. Juris Shibayama, brings revolutionary techniques for minimally invasive spine surgery to middle TN

This month at the Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery, almost half the 96 presentations will come from a single institution, Rush University Medical Center. Dr. Juris Shibayama, a spine surgeon at TOA, did an entire year of fellowship training at Rush from 2005-2006, with a specific emphasis on these techniques. He worked closely with the directors of the Minimally Invasive Spine Institute at Rush, Dr. Kern Singh and Dr. Frank Phillips.

“This is the great thing about the mobile society we live in,” says Dr. Shibayama. “People can be highly trained in very specialized areas by the best people, and bring that training to communities throughout the United States. The techniques I learned at Rush are remarkable, and something no one else in this area has experienced. Minimally invasive spinal surgery doesn’t just mean that the incision is smaller. It’s a total paradigm shift in thinking and philosophy for spinal surgery. We are at an inflection point. Very few people are currently trained in these surgeries. However, as the younger surgeons come out of these training programs, we will see a major shift away from open surgery, to the point where minimally invasive spine surgery becomes the standard for any spinal procedure.”

Dr. Shibayama estimates that 95% of his lumbar spinal surgeries are minimally invasive. The vast majority of these patients go home the same day, with the rest only requiring only an overnight stay. The complication rate is lower, and patients can return to work or their normal activities much faster than with traditional open surgery.

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