Minimally Invasive vs Routine Spine Surgery

Minimally invasive spine surgery uses special devices and techniques to avoid cutting muscle tissue, resulting in a quicker recovery.

Sometimes, surgery is recommended to treat a problem with the spine. A range of surgical options are available, depending on the patient's specific case. In some cases, patients are candidates for minimally-invasive spine surgery, or MISS.

Minimally-invasive surgery is different from "routine" surgery in several ways.

Routine Surgery

Recovery Can Be Prolonged as Muscle and Tissue Heal

In most types of routine surgery, body structures must be cut and moved in order for the surgeon to see and fix the area causing the problem.

This is the main reason that recovery from major surgery can be prolonged. The body needs time to heal not only the area that was fixed, but also the surrounding muscles and tissues that were cut during the course of the operation.

Minimally Invasive Surgery

Quicker Recovery as Less Muscle and Tissue are Cut

Minimally invasive spine surgery is just what its name implies — surgery designed to disrupt the body structures as little as possible.

Tubular Retractors: Devices called tubular retractors may be used as a way to hold the back muscles out of the surgeon's way, avoiding the need to cut them. This alone can reduce recovery time by half for some procedures.

Ask your doctor for more information about minimally-invasive spine surgery, and whether this option makes sense for you.