Unlike minimally invasive spine surgery, traditional back surgery involves a large incision and requires moving muscles and soft tissue out of the way to allow access to the spine. Sometimes, tissue needs to be removed.
Time under general anesthesia, length of stay in the hospital and recovery time from a traditional “open” back surgery typically is longer than with minimally invasive surgery.
Many patients can take advantage of the benefits of minimally invasive surgery, including less disruption to the back muscles and smaller incisions. Through a series of small incisions, the neurosurgeon guides instruments to reach the spine. No muscle is cut. The surgeon uses a special microscope and real-time imaging to help guide the instruments, allowing for more precision.
Minimally invasive spine surgery typically can have several important benefits over traditional open surgery:
- Smaller incisions
- Less blood loss
- Less pain
- Less soft tissue damage
- Shorter hospital stay
- Quicker recovery
Not everyone is a candidate for minimally invasive surgery, but the vast majority of patients are.
Many minimally invasive spine surgeries can be performed on an outpatient basis, avoiding a two- to six-day hospital stay that may be needed with open surgery.
Minimally invasive spine surgery techniques can be used to treat many conditions, including:
- Fractured vertebra
- Herniated disc
- Spinal infection
- Spinal stenosis
- Spinal tumor