Minimally Invasive Spine Endoscopic Surgery

Minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) is a type of surgery on the bones of your spine (backbone). This type of surgery uses smaller incisions than standard surgery. This often causes less harm to nearby muscles and other tissues. It can lead to less pain and faster recovery after surgery. Spine surgery performed minimally invasively offers many potential benefits, such as small incisions, less cutting through soft tissues (eg, ligaments, muscles), outpatient options, less post-operative pain, and faster recovery.

The standard method of spine surgery is called open surgery. This uses a long incision down the back. The muscles and soft tissue around the spine would need to be moved away. In some cases, tissue would need to be removed. During MISS, the healthcare provider makes a smaller incision. He or she then inserts a device called a tubular retractor. This is a stiff, tube-shaped tool. It creates a tunnel to the problem area of the spine. It gently pushes aside the muscle and soft tissue around the area. The surgeon can then put small tools through the tunnel to work on the spine. The surgeon also uses a special operating microscope and views real-time X-ray images of the spine. Surgeons can use MISS for some types of spine surgery. These include lumbar discectomy, laminectomy, and spinal fusion.

Are You a Candidate for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

Minimally invasive spine surgery offers many benefits: smaller incisions, less pain, fewer risks, and quicker recovery times. However, MISS is still a surgical procedure. Keep in mind that less than 5% of people with back or neck pain need spine surgery— and, surgery should be the last resort for treating pain caused by a spinal disorder.

If non-surgical treatments, such as medications, physical therapy, and/or spinal injections do not effectively reduce symptoms in 3 to 6 months, then you may be a candidate for spine surgery. Of course, certain types of spinal disorders warrant urgent or immediate surgical intervention. Talk openly with your doctor or spine specialist about your pain and symptoms, along with the results of different therapies you’ve tried. There are many considerations you and your doctor need to discuss before making a surgical decision to treat back or neck pain—and if minimally invasive spine surgery may be an option for you.

Minimally Invasive Spine Endoscopic Surgery