What is Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?
What is Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery? While frequently offering the same results as traditional spine surgery, minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) may allow for less muscle injury, pain, and bleeding, and can avoid the prolonged recovery process typically associated with spine surgery. If you are in need of treatment for a spinal injury or condition, you may be wondering if you qualify for this less invasive surgical option.
A specialist in spinal surgery, Dr. Lawrence Maciolek, MD, dedicates his practice to finding the optimal treatment solution for his patient’s neck or back problems. While MISS may seem like the ideal surgical solution, not every patient may receive the same benefits from this method as traditional spine surgery.
In the blog below, Dr. Maciolek explains MISS, how it differs from traditional methods, the recovery process, and how to know if you may qualify for this surgical method.
What is Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery involves alternative techniques to perform spinal procedures. MISS methods typically consist of small incisions that allow for decompression of nerves or stabilization of vertebrae. In some cases, multiple incisions less than 1 inch in length may relieve painful pressure on nerves and stabilize vertebrae with titanium screws. A single, longer incision may achieve the same surgical goals as traditional spinal surgery. MISS is used to employ innovative techniques to avoid the muscle injury, pain, bleeding, and prolonged recovery associated with traditional spine surgery.
How Does MISS Differ From Traditional Spine Surgery?
Traditional spinal surgery techniques involve larger incisions to address spinal issues. As recently as twenty years ago, spinal procedures required prolonged inpatient hospital stays, routine need for blood transfusions to address surgical blood loss, lengthy recovery processes, and limited ability to return to physically demanding work and leisure pursuits. Modern advances have helped spinal surgery techniques evolve rapidly over the past decade. Current methods, including MISS techniques, have transformed the field of spinal surgery, allowing many procedures to be outpatient procedures. The need for blood transfusion has become relatively rare. Surgical recovery processes are accelerated and spine surgery patients regularly have the ability to return to physically demanding jobs and their favorite athletic activities. Although MISS has advanced the field of spine surgery, the mastery of marked improvements in traditional techniques has most dramatically altered the landscape of spine surgery.
What Conditions are Amenable to MISS?
- Disc Herniation
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Spinal Stenosis
- Spinal Cord Compression
- Spinal Fracture
- Nerve Impingement
- Spinal Arthritis
What Types of Procedures Utilize MISS Techniques?
- Lumbar Discectomy
- Spinal Fusion
- Fracture Stabilization
- Disc Replacement
What is Recovery After MISS?
The recovery process after MISS depends on the nature of the procedure. In some cases, no brace is necessary for back and neck surgeries. For others, a brief period of brace wear may be necessary. A temporary period of restricted activities is typical. Following this, a physical therapist will help to guide the patient through the recovery process. Many patients can return to light-duty work within a week, and some patients return sooner. Return to more vigorous and demanding activities depends on the type of surgery performed and the patient’s characteristics.
Am I a Candidate for MISS?
Determining whether a patient will benefit from surgery is the most important decision a spine surgeon can make. A surgeon relies upon years of experience and judgment to decide what type of surgery is most appropriate for a patient. Some patients may benefit from minimally invasive spine surgery techniques. Others may experience inferior results or dangerous complications from MISS if the patient is a poor candidate for the procedure. The surgeon is responsible for understanding and accounting for a patient’s goals and needs while considering risks when planning surgery. Ultimately, the strength of the trust within the physician-patient relationship is critically important in achieving the best results with surgery, regardless of whether the procedure is considered MISS versus traditional spinal surgery.
The specialists at Orthoapedic Hospital of Wisconsin are here to make the very best decisions for your care. If you are experiencing a painful spinal injury or condition, make an appointment today to get started on your path to treatment.