What Is Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MISS) is a new method of spine surgery technique that requires less recovery time, a smaller incision, produces less scarring, less blood loss, and less time spent in the hospital. This spinal surgery technique enables the patient to recover faster and experience less post-operative pain.
To better understand which back pain treatment is the best for you, you need to know the different kinds of back pain and lower back pain treatments commonly used.
Difference between Open Spine Surgery and Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
In traditional open spine surgery, in order to get a clear view of the spine, spine surgeons create a large incision on the patient’s back and then pull away the muscles. This allows them to access the damaged bone and/or inter-vertebral discs and proceed with the necessary procedures to treat them. Minimally invasive spine surgery, on the other hand, can perform the same task without the need to create a wide incision to expose the spine.
Advantages of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
One of the main advantages of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery is that it can be performed as an outpatient setting. Utilizing advanced microscopic techniques, spine surgeries are performed on the same day and patients can go home shortly after the surgery.
Most lumbar fusion surgeries are also performed as outpatient setting with an overnight stay compared to the traditional several days of hospital stay.
How Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Works
As the spinal nerves are located deep inside the body, a spine surgeon has to create an incision to expose the spine in order to proceed with the surgery. With Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MISS), there’s no need to widely expose the target area. The level is identified by taking an x-ray followed by making a small incision using a high powered microscope. Special retractors are one of the primary tools utilized during Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery. The retractor is inserted through a small incision and kept in place as it holds the muscles apart during the operation.
Spinal surgery is then performed using a specialized high powered microscope. Minimal structural bone is removed during the operation which lessens the chances of developing future instability and need for additional operations.
Once the procedure is completed, the retractors are removed and the incision is closed.
Patient’s pre-operative physical fitness, severity and length of nerve compression affect recovery time. Spinal surgeons provide personalized advice for each patient. A typical office worker that has undergone minimally invasive spine surgery can start part time work within one to two weeks. Most of the time, full recovery is expected in six weeks and by then most patients are back to full-time work, exercise, sports and other activities. Others might require more time.