For years, people who have needed spine surgery have had to undergo major surgical procedures to allow doctors access to the needed anatomy of the spine. However, thanks to technological advances more back and neck surgeries are not treated with a minimally invasive surgical technique. Known as MISS, Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery does not involve a long incision, therefore, it avoids significantly damaging the surrounding muscles of the spine. In most cases, people are able to heal faster and with less pain after surgery.
Spine surgery is typically a last resort for relieving back pain. When a period of nonsurgical treatments, such as medicines and physical therapy, has been ineffective at relieving pain then a surgeon will make the recommendation for spine surgery. For open back surgery, it is only an option if the doctor can pinpoint the exact source of a patient’s pain.
MISS is able to be used for a wider range of spine procedures than open back surgery. Doctors are able to use specialized instruments to access the spine through small incisions. In a traditional open back surgery, an incision is made that is typically 5-6 inches in length. With minimally invasive spine surgery, an incision is only made large enough for the instruments to pass through. All access to the spine is used through the small opening, and any bone or disk material that needs to be removed exits through the same small incision.
This small incision makes down time for patients much shorter than with open back surgery. Less damage is done to surrounding muscles and tissues, which results in less pain while recovering and after healing. Your doctor can help you determine which type of surgery will be the most effective at restoring health to your spine, but MISS is an option available today that was not 20 years ago.
Posted on behalf of Ortho Sport and Spine Physicians