How Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Works


Pain management is a specialty where Interventional Pain and Regenerative Medicine Specialists thrives. The medical professionals at the facility help their patients of all ages manage pain resulting from various musculoskeletal conditions. Back pain can be frustrating, especially if it results in sudden spasms. While medication and physical therapy may help alleviate the pain, your doctor may recommend a surgical procedure if the conventional approaches fail to minimize your symptoms. Fortunately, the medical expert may suggest minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) approaches like discectomy instead of open back surgery.      

Why would your doctor recommend MIS surgery?

Open surgery might not be the first recommendation your healthcare provider might suggest when you have back pain. However, he may recommend a surgical procedure for a back issue that fails to resolve with another treatment option like physical therapy. MISS stabilizes your spinal joints and vertebral joints, relieving the pressure the damage exerts on your spinal nerves resulting from conditions like:

  • Spinal stenosis
  • Herniated disc
  • Spinal tumors
  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal instability
  • Spinal infections
  • Spondylolysis
  • Fractured vertebra

Unlike open spine surgical procedures, MISS approaches are safe, fast, and require minimal downtime. Since MISS causes minimal trauma on your soft tissues and back muscles, your benefits might include:

  • Minimal blood loss
  • The small incisions result in enhanced cosmetic results
  • Minimal muscle damage
  • Lower risks of postoperative pain and infection
  • No pain medication reliance after the treatment

How does the MISS treatment work?

Minimally invasive spine surgery entails working on your backbones. Your surgeon uses small incisions during the surgical procedure, causing minimal harm to your surrounding muscles and soft tissues. Since your spinal nerves are deep inside your body, the approach might require your healthcare provider to move muscle tissues to pave the way for treatment (tubular retractor).

As opposed to dissecting your muscles, the technique entails progressive dilation of your soft tissues. Your surgeon uses tubes to hold your muscles in position, making it easy for him to work through the incisions without exposing the treatment area widely. The healthcare provider may also use an endoscope (tiny camera) to project the treatment area on a monitor through the small incision. Your surgeon may also use imaging-guidance technologies like fluoroscopy to pinpoint aspects of your spine and 2D or 3D views to view placements of instruments like screws. 

Generally, minimally invasive surgical procedures minimize nerve compression and enhance spinal stability. In minimizing nerve compression, your surgeon removes tissues compressing your nerve structures. On the other hand, stabilization involves normalizing movement or alignment of various segments of your spine likely to cause pain.

What should you expect during a minimally invasive spine surgery?

Before the treatment, your doctor may administer either regional anesthesia to numb your treatment area or general anesthesia to make you unconscious throughout the procedure. Instead of a single, long incision, your surgeon will then make tiny incisions on your treatment site using an endoscope or fluoroscope. The medical expert inserts surgical instruments through the small incisions, using tubular retractors to expose the treatment area.

There are various MIS surgery approaches to help you minimize chronic back pain. However, you may need to work with your healthcare. Contact your surgeon to know more about the procedure that can best resolve your debilitating symptoms.  

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