Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery: How Does It Work?

If you have a condition like spinal instability, bone spurs, a herniated disc, scoliosis, or spinal tumors, or many other spinal issues, you may need spinal surgery. If that sounds frightening, you would not be alone. Any kind of spine surgery is worrisome, but the best case is through minimally invasive procedures. Let’s learn more about minimally invasive spine surgery and how it works.

Open Surgery vs Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Traditionally spine surgery is performed with a large incision. In order to reach the surgical area, surgeons must pull the tissue and muscle out of the way. This can cause significant damage to the muscles as they are pulled apart resulting in a longer recovery period, more pain, and more time at the hospital. It can also involve more blood loss and increased risk for infection.

The concept of diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the spine.

With minimally invasive spine surgery, Spine & Scoliosis Specialists makes several very small incisions about ½ inch each. These tiny incisions through your skin can be made in your back, side, chest, or abdomen.

Next a metal tube called a retractor (or sometimes endoscope) is placed inside one of the incisions creating a tunnel to the area being treated. The retractor maintains the muscles in an open position instead of cutting them. Spine & Scoliosis Specialists uses the small instruments which fit inside, and if bone or disc materials need to be removed, they exit via the retractor. Any devices needed like screws or rods are installed via the same incision.

Throughout the surgery, the spine surgeon uses a special operating microscope, high-resolution camera, computer assisted guidance and real time x-rays of the spine.

At the end, the retractor is taken out, allowing the muscles to revert to their usual position. This accounts for less tissue damage.

What Are the Advantages of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

These types of surgery allow for a shorter hospital stay and can even be performed as an outpatient

Other advantages include:

  • Better cosmetic results with smaller incisions
  • Less blood loss
  • Reduced risk of muscle damage
  • Less risk of infection and post-operative pain
  • Less rehabilitation required
  • Less need for pain medications after surgery
  • Less risk of problems from general anesthesia when performed as an outpatient and using local anesthesia
  • Shorter recovery time: months instead of up to a year

Always find an experienced board certified surgeon like Spine & Scoliosis Specialists in High Point and Greensboro, NC. There is much less to be concerned about if you are a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery.

Contact Spine & Scoliosis Specialists at 336.333.6306 for an evaluation if you are experiencing back pain and want options for minimally invasive spine surgery.