What Is Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?
Minimally invasive spine surgery is just that – a less disruptive way of performing spinal surgery. Typically, the “incision” is half an inch or less, as compared to “open” or invasive spine surgery – in which incisions often span over 5 inches. Just as general, cardiac, and orthopedic surgeons perform laparoscopic or endoscopic surgeries, MIS of the spine is often performed through a “keyhole” approach. Through this tiny incision, a tube is placed and dilated open to the necessary level of the spine. At this point, microscopic instruments are manipulated through the port, often under direct microscopic visualization, to repair and or correct the spinal disorder. Once completed, the tube is simply removed and the surrounding muscles conform back into their original anatomical position. A few superficial stitches are placed in the skin to close, and the patient will usually go home within a few hours. Most MIS spine surgeries are now done on an outpatient basis.