Spine surgery is traditionally done as open surgery, meaning the area being operated on is opened with a long 5-6 inch incision and the muscle is moved to the side, allowing the doctor to view and access the exposed spine. In recent years, however, technological advances have allowed surgeons to treat some common back and neck conditions with minimally invasive surgical techniques.
Minimally invasive spine surgery eliminates the use of a long incision. These procedures are done using specialized instruments to access the spine through several small incisions. This type of surgical procedure is usually performed using thin-needles and an endoscope to visually guide the surgeon. Minimally invasive techniques reduce the trauma to the muscles, tendons, and other normal structures of the spine during surgery, allowing for better postoperative results. The goal of minimally invasive surgery is to reduce postoperative pain and blood loss, speed recovery, and lessen scarring.
Recovery: Minimally invasive procedures can shorten hospital stays. The exact length of time needed in the hospital will vary with each patient and individual procedure, but generally, MISS patients go home in 2 to 3 days.