Minimally Invasive Back Surgery
Faster Recovery Times with Minimally Invasive Back Surgery
Minimally invasive back surgery has been used for many years now, and what this means has changed over time. The next generation techniques leaves the strong muscles fibers attached to the spine, allowing the strength to be maintained. Just like ‘placing a phone call’ has transformed from the dial phone on a desk to the smart phone in your hand, minimally invasive surgery has transformed. The earliest MIS successes were in removing gall bladders and knee surgery, where small ¼ inch incisions replaced 3-5 inch incisions. The intention of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) is to achieve the same end result with less surgical injury along the path of getting to the problem.
In spinal surgery, the objective is to decrease pain and weakness with some combination of stabilizing the spine (artificial disc or fusion) or taking pressure off the nerve (decompression / discectomy). In order to get to the spine, the surgeon must navigate the skin, muscles, and ligaments in a way that these structures are minimally affected and continue to support the spine when the surgery is complete.
The traditional posterior (back sided) lumbar spine surgery approach has included detaching the strong supporting muscles from the spine in order to see the area necessary to stabilize the spine or decompress the nerve. Posterior MIS spine techniques have used a smaller incision but continue to detach the supporting muscle from the spine. The newest next generation MIS posterior techniques use the same smaller incision, but leave the supporting muscles attached and complete the same surgery by working between the muscle fibers.
As a patient looking for the best spine surgery technique, inquire about which technique your spine surgeon uses. Are the support muscles detached from the spine?