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Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

July 18, 2018  |  Staff

Spine surgery has seen remarkable advancements in the past few decades. What you may not know is that with these recent advancements in technology and surgical techniques, you may have the option to undergo a minimally invasive spine surgery instead of a traditional "open" spine surgery. In many cases, minimally invasive surgical (MIS) techniques result in a more effective procedure, fewer complications and a quicker recovery time.

Minimally invasive surgery can be effectively used for herniated disc, spinal decompression or spinal fusion. To see if you are a candidate for this approach, you must be fully evaluated by a surgeon knowledgeable and experienced in these minimally invasive techniques. Keep reading to learn more about the incredible benefits of this treatment option.

Open Surgery Vs. Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Until recently, spinal surgeries have been performed as "open" surgeries. This just means that an incision of approximately 5 to 6 inches in length as well as muscle retraction is required for the surgeon to have a clear view and access to the spine in order to perform the surgery. This process can result in soft tissue damage and continued back pain for patients even after the surgery is performed. The soft tissue damage, as well as the larger incision, also typically means a longer recovery time overall.

With MIS techniques, surgeons are able to access and treat the spine through a very small incision using specialized micro-sized instruments which may speed recovery, minimize post-operative pain and improve the final outcome. Fluoroscopy x-ray images, in conjunction with an operating microscope, allow the surgeon visual aid even with the small size of the incision. Whether you need treatment for spinal stenosis or a minimally invasive spine surgery for herniated lumbar disk, a minimally invasive procedure could significantly reduce complications and shorten your recovery time.

Benefits Of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Considerably Smaller Incisions: Minimally invasive spine surgery is known for using much smaller incisions since most of these procedures are completed with specialized micro-sized instruments and a tiny camera attached to a long, thin tube, known as an endoscope.

Less Scarring and Trauma: Since minimally invasive surgical procedures utilize small, precise tools that navigate through significantly smaller incisions, the surgery itself generally causes less risk of scarring, bleeding, infection and other complications. Additionally, smaller incisions means less pain and recovery time required before you can return to your normal activities.

Substantially Less Blood Loss: Smaller incision leads to far less blood loss associated with these procedures when compared to open surgery. Many times, there is 200-300 mL difference in the amount of blood loss, which is quite significant for the patient.

Less Pain After Surgery: The majority of minimally invasive surgery patients report substantially less post-operative pain versus patients who have undergone open surgery because of its smaller incisions and the lessened trauma to surrounding areas. Since the procedure doesn't typically require the surgeon to cut through muscle or strip the tissue to reach the affected area, the pain and soreness experienced afterward is generally much less while healing oftentimes begins right away.

Significantly Shortened Recovery Times: The majority of MIS treatments are performed as outpatient procedures, allowing the patient to return home the very same day. In some cases, an overnight stay may be required, but patients typically don not stay at the hospital for lengthy periods of time. Most patients are able to return to their normal quality of life in just days (instead of the weeks or even months of slow recovery following open surgery).


Don't let spinal pain hold you back from living your life any longer! The orthopedic spine surgeons at Ventura Orthopedics are leaders in the field and have been instrumental in advancing these techniques. We can answer any questions you may have regarding this procedure as an option for you.

To learn more about the procedure or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, call us at (800) 698-1280.

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