Who is a Candidate for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

Minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) is an established and leading-edge field of spine surgery that can offer patients various health advantages over traditional or “open” techniques. MISS advantages include smaller incisions, less tissue damage during surgery, less blood loss, and a shorter recovery time. As a result, MISS is becoming increasingly popular for the treatment of a variety of spine conditions.
Unfortunately, not everyone is a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery. The best candidates are typically those with:

  • Mild to moderate spinal conditions: MISS is most effective for treating mild to moderately severe spine conditions, such as spinal deformity, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and spondylolisthesis.
  • Good overall health: MISS is a generally safe approach to spine surgery, but it is still essential to be in good general health before spine surgery. This means having overall good heart and lung health and otherwise tolerating anesthesia well and without complication.
  • Realistic expectations: MISS is an effective spine surgery approach, but it is not necessarily a cure-all, nor does it come without risks. Patients should have realistic expectations about what the surgery can and cannot do for their specific spinal condition.

Conditions Commonly Treated with Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Spine surgeons can use MISS techniques to treat a variety of spine conditions, including:

  • Herniated Discs: A herniated disc occurs when the gel-like center of the disc leaks out, putting pressure on a spinal nerve.
  • Spinal Stenosis: Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal, which can put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.
  • Spondylolisthesis: Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which one vertebra slips forward onto the vertebra below it.
  • Deformity Correction: For conditions including scoliosis and kyphosis.

What are the benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery?

MISS offers several benefits over traditional open spine surgery, including:

  • Smaller incisions: MISS incisions are typically much smaller than open surgery incisions. Smaller incisions can lead to faster healing and less pain and scarring.
  • Less tissue damage: MISS surgeons use smaller instruments and techniques that cause less damage to surrounding muscles and tissues.
  • Shorter recovery time: Patients who undergo MISS typically have a shorter hospital stay and shorter recovery times than patients who undergo open surgery. This also leads to a more rapid return to daily activities, including job functions.
  • Shorter hospital stays: With a shorter recovery time comes less time in the hospital. MISS patients, on average, remain in the hospital for a few days vs. about a week for traditional open spine surgery techniques.
  • Less pain medication: With smaller incisions, less tissue damage, and reduced pain comes less need for pain medication for many MISS patients post-surgery.

Risks of MISS

As with any surgery, there are some risks associated with MISS, including:

  • Infection: Infection is a possible risk with any surgery, MISS included.
  • Nerve damage: There is a small risk of nerve damage during MISS.
  • Recurrence: The spinal condition may recur after MISS, primarily if the underlying cause is not addressed.

Talking to Your Doctor about Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

If you are considering MISS, speaking candidly with your doctor is essential. They can help you determine if you are a good candidate for a minimally invasive approach and discuss the risks, benefits, and potential outcomes with you.

Why Choose Us

Our center has pioneered minimally invasive spine procedures and researched new techniques over our more than 20 years in clinical practice. Dr. Anand is a leading expert on minimally invasive spine surgery. He has extensive training in motion preservation techniques that allows him to improve a patient’s mobility after surgery.
When you come to The Anand Spine Group, you will receive both compassionate and advanced care and from our highly qualified team of physicians and nurses.
Call us today at (310) 423-9779 to take that first step down the road to recovery.