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FAQs About Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
FAQs About Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Minimally invasive spine surgery, or MISS, is an option for some back and neck problems like a herniated disc, for example. Find out more about this revolutionary technique that reduces recovery time and improves patient outcomes.

Why is MISS a Practical Choice for Some Patients?

With minimally invasive spine surgery, the neurosurgeon uses advanced technology to access the spine with only one or a few extremely small incisions. The alternative is a longer incision that can cause more injury to surrounding muscles and increase blood loss. The increased trauma caused to the soft tissue with an open procedure can increase pain and recovery time.

Who Qualifies for MISS?

It is up to your neurosurgeon to determine if the minimally invasive procedure is right for you. Some abnormalities of the spine are best treated with an open surgical technique. MISS can be used for procedures such as:

  • Lumbar Discectomy
  • Lumbar laminectomy
  • Lumbar Fusion –anterior, lateral, transforaminal and posterior approaches

How is MISS Surgery Done?

The surgeon uses specialized techniques and retractors to create a tunnel from the skin to the spine, significantly diminishing muscle retraction and muscle damage. This “tunneling” means one or just a few extremely small incisions are necessary to access the spine, resulting in less muscle injury and bleeding.

How is The Hospitalization with MISS?

Hospitalization depends on the type of procedure that you have. Smaller procedures can allow you to go home the same day while more extensive procedures may require several days of hospitalization. In general, the more traditional versions of the surgery can add an extra day or two to your hospitalization.

How Long is the Recovery Period with MISS?

There is a shorter recovery period whenever muscle injury or is decreased, but it will vary from patient to patient. In addition, the more extensive your surgery is, the longer the recovery will be. Smaller procedures may allow you to return to work in a few weeks or less, while more extensive procedures can have a longer recovery time.

How Long Will I be in Pain After the Procedure?

The post-operative pain is generally less with MISS because of the small incisions and limited soft tissue damage. However, pain tolerance is an individual characteristic that can sometimes be difficult to predict. We care of very much about your postoperative pain and do our best to medically control it and make you as comfortable as possible.

Will I  Require Physical Therapy with MISS?

Physical therapy can be a useful addition in your recovery. Your need for this type of treatment will depend on your physical situation and your neurosurgeon’s judgment.

What are the Potential Complications with MISS?

There are potential complications with any type of surgery including MISS. Risks include significant bleeding (though this is less than with an open procedure) and infection. Antibiotics are given just prior to surgical incision to minimize this. Other risks are no different than those seen in the standard form of the procedure.


1 Comment
  • Crystle Myhr Posted March 13, 2018 8:39 pm

    Great insight! Thinking about surgery for my spinal stenosis and this was helpful.

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