Thanks to ongoing developments in technology and surgical techniques, you can often choose between traditional (open) surgery or a minimally invasive procedure that’s designed to get you back to doing the things you love.
Altair neurosurgeons recommend a minimally invasive approach to spine surgery whenever possible because of its many benefits.
How is minimally invasive spine surgery different than open spine surgery?
With traditional, or open, spine surgery, your surgeon must create a long incision that slices through skin, muscle, and other tissue to expose and repair the faulty spinal structures responsible for your pain and disability.
This traditional technique can get the job done, but it also causes significant trauma to the soft tissue structures adjacent to your spine.
With minimally invasive spine surgery, Altair neurosurgeons are able to create a few very small incisions near the spinal defect. Once the small incision(s) are made, dilators are used to provide access to the problem area. A retractor is placed over the dilators, providing a one-inch-wide conduit to the spinal area. The entire procedure is done through this conduit with illumination and magnification provided by a microscope and without stripping the lumbar or cervical muscles from the spinal column.
Once your surgery is completed, the retractors are removed and the muscles slide back into place. In an open procedure, these muscles are cut and require a layered suture technique to help hold them in place as they knit back together.
What are the benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery?
Because of the small incision sizes and reduced trauma to surrounding tissue, MISS offers several potential benefits. For instance, it’s usually done as an outpatient procedure and typically eliminates the need for even an overnight hospital stay.
Other benefits include:
- Less blood loss during surgery
- Decreased risk of postsurgical pain, infection, and other complications
- Faster recovery and shorter rehab time since you don’t have to wait for muscles and large skin incisions to heal
- Improved cosmetic results due to smaller skin incisions
- Diminished reliance on pain medications after surgery
What conditions can you treat with minimally invasive spine surgery?
MISS won’t work in every case or for every problem. The only way to determine if it’s right for you is through a comprehensive evaluation. However, it’s a highly effective solution for many back issues and can address problems throughout the spine, including those in your neck and lower back.
Some of the conditions that we are able to treat with MISS are:
Is MISS Right For You?
Want to learn more about MISS and if it’s right for you? Request an appointment for an evaluation with one of our spine specialists to discover whether you’re a candidate for the many benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery.