Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Overview
Traditionally, spine surgery was performed using “open surgery” techniques that involved making long incisions to give a surgeon access to the troubled area of the back. Until the early 2000s, this is the way all spine surgeries were done.
Advancements in technology allow today’s surgeons to use specialized instruments to access the spine through small incisions. These technologies and techniques have come to be called minimally invasive spinal surgery.
When using a minimally invasive approach, the typical incision is between 15 and 21mm. In MISS, a dilating portal system is utilized through which the surgical instruments, cameras and implants (if necessary) are inserted. These tools are very small and require very skilled hands. Minimally invasive procedures require either a microscope or endoscope, tubular retractor and advanced intraoperative imaging. MISS surgeons have advanced training in these procedures.
True MISS is usually an outpatient procedure, does not require blood transfusion, and is associated with a short recovery time and less post operative pain.
The scope and complexity of the procedures is evolving at a rapid rate, and competence requires a commitment to staying on top of the latest developments.