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Axis Neuromonitoring Axis Neuromonitoring

Is Intraoperative Neuromonitoring Always Necessary?

By Admin | June 08, 2016

When it comes to the complexities of the human spine and all of the delicate parts it protects, most surgeons side with the use of IONM for invasive procedures, like correcting deformities and removing tumors. Many of those same surgeons would also say that neuromonitorning is unnecessary for simple, by-the-book procedures, like microdiscectomies or laminectomies.

However, the pressure to always monitor no matter the surgery is growing, especially when it comes to the risk of malpractice lawsuits.

According to Frank La Marca, MD, associate professor of neurosurgery, orthopedics and biomedical engineering at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, Mich., there are times when monitoring offers no benefits, but surgeons will use it anyway because lawyers can use the lack of monitoring to justify a lawsuit if a patient suffers an injury to his or her neurological system.

There are other factors in the operating room which can alter neuromonitoring results, too, like anesthesia. For example, when patients are administered paralytics, their neurons usually cannot function normally. And without the added anesthesia, patients are not as far under anesthesia, often with tense muscles.  

The debate when and how to use IONM during surgeries is going strong and surrounded in controversy. To read more, visit Helio Spine Surgery today and check out their article “Intraoperative Spinal Neuromonitoring Proves To Be A New, Yet Controversial Field.”

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