What Is Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

Minimally invasive spine surgery often aims to stabilize the vertebral bones and spinal joints and/or alleviate pressure on the spinal nerves, which is frequently brought on by disorders including spinal instability, bone spurs, ruptured discs, or spinal malignancies. To treat various spinal problems such degenerative disc disease, herniated disc, scoliosis, and spinal stenosis, minimally invasive spine surgery offers an alternative to standard open surgical techniques. Numerous possible advantages of minimally invasive spine surgery include smaller incisions, less cutting through soft tissues such as ligaments and muscles, outpatient possibilities, less postoperative discomfort, and quicker recovery.

The Surgical Process

To start the process you’ll receive anesthesia. Local anesthesia, which numbs a section of your spine, or general anesthesia which will put you to sleep through your surgery. 

There are several minimally invasive approaches for this surgery. They all involve making one or more tiny incisions through your skin, either through your back, chest, or belly, as opposed to one large incision. 

Your surgeon may use a fluoroscope or an endoscope approach to pinpoint the location of incisions. 

A fluoroscope is a portable X-ray device that shows real-time pictures of your spine while the procedure is being performed. 

A tiny, telescope-like device known as an endoscope is connected to a dime-sized video camera that uses images from the inside of your spine to be shown on televisions in the operating room. 

The next step, thin, hollow tubes are used as retractors. Retractors make small tunnels from the opening in your skin to the area on your spine that needs to be worked on. Through one or more retractors, instruments are put in. During the procedure these same retractors are used to pull out bone and tissue from the spine. 

During surgery, the tubular retractors keep your muscles away from the place where the surgery will be done. When the retractors are taken off, your muscles go back to where they were before. 

After surgery, stitches, glue, or staples are used to close the openings, and surgical tape or small bandages are used to cover them. While this is just one approach, it will vary based on the patient. 

Benefits Of This Approach

Minimally invasive surgical techniques may be quicker, safer, and less painful than open spine surgery. The possible advantages of minimally invasive spine surgery are: 

  • Less damage to the muscles and soft tissues than with open procedures. 
  • Less invasive skin procedures provide better aesthetic outcomes.
  • Less bleeding after surgery. 
  • Reduced risk of muscle injury due to the need for minimal or no muscle cutting.
  • Reduced risk of infection and postoperative discomfort.
  • Quicker post-operative recovery and less need for rehabilitation. 
  • Reduced need for painkillers after surgery. 
  • There is also reduced danger of a negative response to general anesthesia since certain MIS operations are done as outpatient procedures using just local anesthetic.


You could be a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery if non-surgical therapies including prescriptions, physical therapy, and/or spinal injections do not significantly improve symptom relief in 3 to 6 months. 

In fact, certain spinal conditions need rapid or urgent surgical treatment. Inform your doctor or spine expert honestly about your pain and symptoms, as well as the effects of any treatments you’ve tried. 

Before deciding to have surgery to address your neck or back discomfort, you and your doctor need to talk about a number of factors, including whether minimally invasive spine surgery is a possibility for you.

Recovery Process

Compared to patients who have open spine surgery, individuals who have minimally invasive spine surgery often recover far more quickly. The majority of patients who have had minimally invasive spine surgery will be able to resume their regular activities in around six weeks. 

Most patients will need to limit their activities for the first six weeks after surgery, however your spine surgeon will decide how much activity is limited depending on your general health and recuperation.

The Next Step: Book Your First Appointment 

If you have persistent discomfort in your back or neck, now is the time to schedule an appointment with our most experienced spine surgeon. Our staff is dedicated to providing only the highest quality patient care and services in order to appropriately treat our patients. Call us at (954) 223-5483 to find out whether or not minimally invasive spine surgery is a possibility for you.