If spine surgery is something you’re considering to relieve your back pain, the growing trend toward minimally invasive procedures should provide some comfort. Such surgeries are meant as an alternative to traditional open surgery, which involves larger cuts and a greater risk of complications. Surgery should be the last resort, and consulting with a trusted and experienced Newport Beach spine surgeon is an important step to determine if surgery is the best option.
The main characteristic of minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) is the use of smaller incisions, often less than a few inches in length. A series of small incisions is used to manipulate instruments and remove or insert any materials or hardware. The surgeon is guided by images on a monitor in the operating room with a view provided by a tiny camera or microscope attached to a tube placed through one of the incisions.
Less Muscle Trauma
MISS means there is no need to move muscles and other structures out of the way to get to the surgical site. This means no added soreness from muscles that will need to heal and less risk of unintended injury to nearby tissues. Conditions that can often be treated with less invasive surgery include:
- Spinal stenosis
- Degenerative disc disease
- Disc herniation
Faster Healing and Recovery
Since there is less blood loss and smaller cuts, healing time is often reduced following a minimally invasive procedure. Patients also often benefit from:
- Shorter hospital stays
- Faster return to work and regular routines
- Less pain
Though it also involves smaller incisions, laser spine surgery is not the same as minimally invasive spine surgery. It’s not accredited by most health groups, and research on effectiveness remains limited. MIS, on the other hand, has a higher success rate for many patients.
Artificial disc replacement as an alternative to spinal fusion is another type of MIS procedure gaining popularity. As with any approach to surgery, several factors, including your overall health, the complexity of your procedure, and the source of your pain, will determine if you’re an ideal candidate. As a renowned board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon, Dr. Mir specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery and can help you determine the underlying reason behind your spinal pain. Call Dr. Hamid Mir at 949-860-7498 to schedule a consultation in one of our offices in Orange County, Marina del Rey, or San Bernardino, CA.