What is minimally invasive spine surgery?

Dr. Stephen Q. Parker, MD
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Specialist

The minimally invasive spinal surgery has to do with minimally invasive techniques being used to perform surgery using instrumentation. The most commonly used instruments are the endoscope, the thoracoscope and the laparoscope. In spinal surgery the endoscopic approach has become very popular. The endoscope has a hollow viscous, which is used for the inspection of any cavity. This instrument has a light at the end of it which allows the structure being passed through to be transmitted to a screen for viewing. The surgeon can view the structure while performing surgery through another small entry point with a working instrument. The advantage of having minimally invasive surgeries is that the recovery time is much less when using scopes versus the traditional surgical procedures which require more exposed tissue and longer anesthesia time. Endoscopic approaches can diminish the side effect profile significantly as well as diminish the risk of post op infection.

Minimally invasive spinal surgery uses smaller incisions that are less destructive to the body.

Minimally invasive spinal surgery (MISS) frees up nerves in the spine without causing damage to the surrounding tissue. MISS can incorporate different techniques, lighting systems and more, though it all happens through the smallest incision possible.

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