Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Minimally invasive spine surgery is best defined as any procedure that is less invasive than an open procedure for the same purpose. The term “Minimally-Invasive” was coined by John EA Wickham in 1984 and involves the use of small instruments such as a laparoscope and endoscope. In minimally invasive spine surgery, a small incision is made at the operation area then a series of small tubes are inserted through the “keyhole” incision at which point the tools used for surgery pass through the tubes. An endoscope, a surgical tool used in many minimally invasive spine procedures, holds a tiny camera which allows the surgeon to view the inside of the patients body on a large screen monitor. The advantages of minimally invasive spine procedures make it much more appealing to patients and therefore is becoming a popular choice among patients and physicians alike.

Mimimally Invasive Spine Surgery Advantages

  • Shorter recovery times
  • Little or no hospital stay
  • Less anethesia is used
  • Minimal scarring
  • Reduced post-operative pain

Minimally Invasive Spine Procedures

Like traditional spine surgery, many of the same procedures have been adapted and are being performed by minimally invasive spine surgeons. The tools that the surgeons use to perform open back surgery have been customized to fit through the small tubes to reach the area of operation. One of drawbacks of minimally invasive spine surgery is if more than one level of the spine requres surgery. Unlike open back surgery where a large incision is made, when minimally invasive spine surgery is performed the incision is so small that only one level of the spine can be operated on at any time. When a patient is in need of multiple level surgery they may need to have more than one procedure.

Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures include the following:

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