Lateral Access Spine
Surgery in Paducah, KY



Medicine is constantly advancing as healthcare professionals look for better ways to treat patients, with new technology and innovation reducing the risks associated with procedures and improving outcomes. One innovation that is transforming how patients with back pain receive care is lateral access spine surgery. By starting a spinal procedure from the side, doctors can access patients’ spines more easily. Learn more about this operation and how it’s changing the lives of patients across Kentucky.

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What is Lateral Access Spine Surgery?

Historically, doctors have accessed the human spine from the posterior (the back) or the anterior (the front). This meant spinal surgeons had to go around the nerve canal or various organs to get to the spine. However, lateral access allows doctors to create incisions on the side of the patient – just below the rib cage. This creates a less invasive and more effective option for lumbar surgery. This article delves into the details of this procedure to highlight how valuable it is

Why Lateral Access Surgery Matters

Lateral access surgery is valuable because it is less invasive than traditional open-back surgery making the procedure faster, safer, and with fewer risks. This creates better experiences for patients who can start the healing process as soon as they leave the treatment center.

Why Choose Dr. K. Brandon Strenge for Lateral Spine Surgeries in Paducah

If you want to work with an innovative spinal surgeon, look no further than Dr. K. Brandon Strenge. Dr. Strenge is a fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon and an active member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He specializes in minimally invasive spinal surgery and artificial disc replacement and is the principal investigator for several clinical trials. He is also a consultant for some of the most influential implant design teams.

His clinic is located in Paducah, Kentucky which is in the western part of the state.



Advantages of Lateral Access Spine Surgery

There are several advantages of lateral access spine surgery. Here are just a few reasons why your doctor might recommend this procedure if you have broken or damaged spinal discs.

  • Minimally Invasive ApproachLateral access surgery is less invasive, which comes with several advantages, including smaller incisions that take less time to heal and also have much lower risks of infection. Patients also recover faster from the procedure. A minimally invasive procedure can be done in a clinic or outpatient surgery center, eliminating the need for expensive and lengthy hospital stays.

  • Reduced Risk of Muscular Damage With posterior or anterior spinal surgery, doctors have to work around multiple organs, muscles, and other important parts of the body. This can make the recovery process more painful because the soft tissue has to recover as well. With a lateral operation, surgeons have more direct access to the spine, which means there is a reduced risk of muscular damage.

  • Faster Recovery TimesTraditional open spine surgery requires much larger incisions and can come with more longer hospital stays. With lateral access spine surgery, most patients only have a one-inch incision and can walk around the same day of the operation. The less invasive nature allows patients to heal faster and resume their favorite activities sooner.

  • Less Blood LossA smaller incision means that a patient may lose less blood during the operation. A small incision is also less likely to get infected and will heal faster.

  • Improved Cosmetic OutcomesSmall incisions create smaller scars, so it’s less likely that your scar from the surgery will be noticeable when it heals. Placing the incision on the side also means that it is much less noticeable and can in some cases be barely visible once healed.

  • Low Infection RateDr. Strenge will carefully close the incision and provide you with instructions on how to keep it clean. However, the small cut should heal quickly, reducing the window for bacteria to potentially enter the wound and cause an infection.

Who Is an Ideal Candidate for Lateral Access Surgery?

When you meet with Dr. Strenge, he will perform a comprehensive evaluation of your unique case including a list of criteria to determine if you are a candidate for lateral access surgery. He wants to ensure you are healthy enough to recover fully from the operation. A good candidate is a non-smoker who maintains a healthy weight and isn’t currently treating other health conditions. Dr. Strenge will also recommend non-invasive treatment options before approving you for surgery to see if your body responds.

Every patient is different and Dr. Strenge will look at your specific circumstances before deciding if this operation is right for you.

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Boy is seeing doctor with mother for caring about back health

Is lateral access spine surgery suitable for all spinal conditions?

Lateral access spine surgery can be used to treat multiple spinal conditions. This procedure can be used for almost all patients who need treatment in their lumbar region. However, this option is not suitable for patients who have pain in their cervical spine (the neck). Dr. Strenge will consider your condition to determine whether you are a good fit for this procedure.

What Should Patients Do to Prepare for Lateral Access Spine Surgery?

The first step if you think you are a candidate for lateral access spine surgery is to meet with Dr. Strenge to discuss your symptoms and request any imaging tests he needs of your spine.

If you are a candidate for surgery, Dr. Strenge will ask you to make some lifestyle adjustments to support your health. He might ask you to take up low-impact cardio exercises like swimming to support your muscles and heart. He also might ask you to change your diet and work habits ahead of the operation.

Before the operation, Dr. Strenge’s office will give you a checklist of tasks. They will ask you to fast after midnight because of the anesthesia and will ask you to plan for someone to drive you home. By following these steps, you can feel confident and prepared on the morning of your surgery.

What Are the Potential Risks of Spinal Access Surgery?

Lateral access spine surgery is a safe procedure, but every operation comes with risks. Here are a few things to consider as you plan for surgery.

  • Blood loss: it’s extremely rare to lose more than a very small amount of blood with lateral surgery, but there is always a possibility that bllod loss may occur.

  • Infection: follow your post-operative directions carefully so your incision stays clean.

  • Reoperation: although extremely rare, not every operation is successful the first time. You may need a second surgery to thoroughly address the issue.

Additionally, every patient heals on their own time. It might take you a little longer to fully recover from the surgery and enjoy your favorite activities once again




One of the best ways to learn about lateral access spine surgery is to follow the steps your doctor goes through during the procedure itself. Here is what you can expect from the procedure.

  • Accessing the Spine Laterally

    After you fall asleep from the anesthesia, Dr. Strenge will turn you on your side. This allows him to make the incision below your rib cage. Some doctors create two small incisions for lateral procedures so they can insert two surgical tools at once.

  • Surgical Techniques and Instruments

    The tools used by your doctor will vary depending on the procedure, but most surgeons use a probe to reach the spinal column and keep muscle tissue and nerves out of the way during the procedure. Your surgeon will use small instruments that maximize flexibility and prevent damage.

    Doctors are increasingly using cameras that provide a live feed that is displayed on a screen, allowing for an up-close look at your spine. This eliminates the need for a larger, open-back surgery.

  • Post-Operative Care and Monitoring

    After your operation, the medical team will make sure you are stable and the operation was a success. Once they are sure you are healthy enough to leave, you can go home and start the recovery process. Dr. Strenge will likely give you medication for the pain and to prevent inflammation. He will schedule a series of follow-up appointments to make sure you are healing at a good pace. Within a few weeks, you should be able to return to work and resume light activity.


Comparing Lateral Access Surgery to Other Spinal Surgery Techniques

It’s important for doctors to have multiple surgical options when working on patients, allowing them to choose the best possible procedures for each specific case. However, lateral access surgery continues to be one of the most preferred options currently available. Here are a few comparisons.

Pros and Cons of Lateral Access vs. Traditional Open Surgery

In most cases, there are more pros than cons of lateral access surgery compared to traditional open-back operations. Lateral access is less invasive, which means patients heal faster. It also is less risky to enter the body from the side instead of through the back or abdomen. The only drawback is that open surgery provides a direct view of the spine, which can be helpful for more complex procedures.

Lateral Access vs. Minimally Invasive Posterior Surgery

The main difference between lateral access surgery and the minimally invasive posterior approach is that doctors don’t have to navigate around the nerve canal. This means there is a reduced risk of nerve damage during the operation. This leads to faster recovery times and fewer side effects from the procedure. It is important to know that not all people have anatomy that allows the lateral technique to reach the problem areas that need to be addressed. Sometimes other techniques truly are the best way to help fix the problem.

Real-Life Success Stories and Patient Testimonials

Use these resources if you want to learn more about lateral access spine surgery. You can see what other patients experience and learn why Dr. K. Brandon Strenge is at the forefront of innovation and spinal surgery.

  • Learn about Dr. Strenge and the tools he uses. Not only does he help patients in Kentucky, but he trains surgeons across the country on the best tools and techniques for lateral access spine surgery to improve patient outcomes.
  • Read about a patient’s experience with lateral spine surgery. In this case, the surgeon was able to place a synthetic cage to replace a damaged disc, stabilizing the area. Dr. Strenge has developed a similar cage in his clinical trials.
  • Watch videos of different spinal procedures through the University of Colorado. These videos include a lateral fusion operation.

Additionally, every patient heals on their own time. It might take you a little longer to fully recover from the surgery and enjoy your favorite activities once again

Meet With an Innovative Spinal Surgeon Like Dr. K. Brandon Strenge

Embracing innovative techniques like lateral access surgery is essential in the field of spinal care. When surgeons discover new treatment options, they can provide better outcomes to patients. They can help more people and disrupt their lives less with shorter recovery times.

If you live with back pain, ensure you are working with a medical professional who keeps up with modern innovations. Check their credentials and ask them about the different approaches, procedures, and technology that are available to you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Talking through your options and concerns is how you can become confident in the surgeon that you choose.

To meet with one of the best spinal surgeons in the country, contact Dr. K. Brandon Strenge. Request an appointment today and take the first steps to live without back pain.



At STRENGE Spine Center, we recognize every spine is different. Our personalized treatments, leverage innovative, research-driven surgical solutions to provide the best in spinal care that empowers patients towards a life of comfort, mobility, and renewed vitality.

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K. Brandon Strenge, M.D. is a fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon specializing in ADR surgery for both the cervical and lumbar spine. As a leading expert in ADR surgery in the Midwest, he has helped to improve the lives of many patients who have sought his expertise. K. Brandon Strenge, M.D. paves the way for the next generation of tools, implants, and surgical techniques in ADR, constantly seeking to improve life for his patients and those around the world.

Highly recommend!

“Dr. Strenge is wonderful, he is very kind and takes his time to explain everything. My husband had his back fusion and we are very thankful we had Dr.Strenge. Thank You to him and his staff.”




My case was an emergency surgery and he Aced it. 10 years later and I have no pain and no further back problem. So based on my experience, I will always recommend him and trust him! Thanks Dr. Strenge, you’re one hell of a surgeon!


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I am originally from Michigan I am glad I was referred to him. Thank You!




I had back surgery a year ago this month, and when I emailed him about concerns he almost immediately would get back to me. He staff is also amazing! I HIGHLY recommend them!!!





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