Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery 2018-02-21T07:16:00+00:00


Minimally invasive spine surgery is an umbrella term for the range of procedures performed to stabilize the bones and joints in your vertebral bones (spinal column). This stabilization will relieve the pressure being applied to your spinal nerves.

Am I a Good Candidate for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

Ask your doctor about minimally invasive spine surgery. He or she will be able to tell you which minimally invasive spine surgery, if any, is a good option for treating your spinal condition. In some instances, minimally invasive spine surgery may not be as safe or effective as the traditional, open style of spine surgery. There are also some conditions that are not accessible through a minimally invasive approach.

 Conditions & Treatments for Spine Surgery 

Conditions that contribute to uncomfortable, painful pressure placed on your spinal nerves are:

  • Bone Spurs
  • Herniated Discs
  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal Instability
  • Spinal Tumors

How is minimally invasive spine surgery different from open spine surgery? Many potential benefits contrast open and minimally invasive versions of spine surgery. The benefits and advantages provided by minimally invasive spine surgery are:

  • Blood Loss: Less blood loss occurs during minimally invasive procedures.
  • Cosmetic: Smaller skin incisions (sometimes as small as 2 centimeters) result in less scarring.
  • Faster Recovery Time
  • Infection: Reduced risk of infection and postoperative pain.
  • Less Rehabilitation Required
  • Less Reliance on Pain Medication
  • Muscle Damage: Since no cutting of the muscle is required there is a reduced risk of your muscles becoming damaged.

Some minimally invasive spine surgeries are performed as outpatient procedures (you will get medical treatment without having to be admitted to a hospital), where only local anesthesia will be used rather than general anesthesia (being “put under”). Local anesthesia is much less risky than general anesthesia, which can potentially cause an adverse reaction.

The Procedure

Surgery is always supposed to be the last resort when it comes to treating spinal problems in your neck and back. If non-operative treatments have been attempted for a couple of months with no improvement or a worsening of your symptoms, then surgical treatment is reasonable for specific spinal conditions.

The conditions treated using minimally invasive spine surgery procedures are:

  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
  • Herniated Disc
  • Spinal Deformities (ex: Scoliosis)
  • Spinal Infections
  • Spinal Instability
  • Spinal Tumors
  • Vertebral Compression Fractures

Certain conditions require a traditional open approach to spinal surgery. These conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • Some Types of Infections
  • High-Degree Scoliosis
  • Tumors

Preparing for MISS

In addition to having your general health assessed, and your medical history examined, you will need to get an MRI, CAT Scan, and an X-Ray before surgery.

Your doctor will make a small incision in the area of your spine that is being operated on. He or she will then utilize this incision using guiding instruments and microscopic cameras.


Some specific techniques are deployed during minimally invasive spine surgery. Some of the ideal options for surgery involve the following:

  • Discectomy
  • Spinal Decompression
  • Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (MIS TLIF)

Certain methods are used to minimize trauma during minimally invasive spine surgery. Some of the more common of these techniques are:

  • Direct Lateral Access Routes
  • Screws and Rods
  • Thoracoscopic Access Routes
  • Tubular Retractor

Risks Involved with MISS

With any surgical procedure, even a minimally invasive one, there is always risk present. Risks that are associated with minimally invasive spine surgery are:

  • Anesthetic: Sometimes patients have an unpredictable adverse (allergic) reaction to the anesthetic used.
  • Blood Loss: Unexpected blood loss can sometimes occur during minimally invasive spine surgery.
  • Localized Infection: No matter how small your incision area is, there is always a chance you may develop a localized infection.

The decision to undergo minimally invasive spine surgery will decrease your hospital stay by 50% when compared to open spine surgery.  Some types of minimally invasive spine surgery allow you to go home after shortly after surgery on the same day.

Physical therapy is the most important component of your rapid recovery after minimally invasive spine surgery. Although your physical therapy timeline and regimen are individualized to fit your needs and situation, most patients begin physical therapy somewhere between 2-6 weeks after their minimally invasive spine surgery.


It’s important that you trust your Spine Surgeon. There are hundreds of Spine Surgeons to choose from; however, not all doctors are created equal. That’s why we’ve selected your city’s best Spine Surgeons – to make the decision process easier for you and your family.

For your peace of mind, Top10MD Spine Surgeons’ credentials are validated yearly to verify medical licenses have no serious patient care sanctions, current Board Certifications in their given medical specialty, current DEA & DPS licenses, and malpractice insurance. A Top10MD has at least 5+ years experience or has performed 300+ procedures in their given specialty and a current Patient Satisfaction Score of 8.5 or higher.

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