Spine surgery has been traditionally done as “open surgery”. This means the area being operated on is opened with a long or large incision to properly allow the spine surgeon to view and easily access the anatomy. Recently however, new technological advances have allowed more neck and back conditions to be treated with a minimally invasive surgical approach.
Minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) greatly reduces significant damage to the muscles surrounding the spine. This is due to much smaller incisions which spares the spine muscles from trauma. In many cases, this results are less pain after surgery and a quicker recovery.
Spine surgery is normally recommended only after conservative treatment — such as medications and physical therapy — have not relieved the painful symptoms caused by your neck or back problem. More importantly, spine surgery is only considered if your physician can pinpoint the exactly what is the source of your pain. Examples would be a herniated disk, spine fracture, or spinal stenosis.
Minimally invasive spine techniques are being used more and more for a wider range of spine procedures. They are commonly used for common procedures like decompression and spinal fusion. A Decompression procedure relieves pressure put on the spinal nerves by removing portions of herniated disk or bone. A Spinal fusion corrects problems with the small bones of the spine (vertebrae). The goal in a Spinal Fusion is to fuse together the painful vertebrae so that they heal into a single, solid bone.