Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
What is minimally invasive spine surgery?
MIS is a surgical procedure which utilizes a series of small incisions to access the spine. The advantages over traditional surgery, with its typical five to six inch incision, include less damage to muscle tissue, more manageable pain and faster recovery times.
Patients have been successfully undergoing MIS surgeries since the mid 90’s. Many conditions are treated with MIS surgeries. These include decompression to relieve nerve damage, spinal fusion, diskectomy and scoliosis .
In order to move muscle tissue, small incisions are made and highly specialized instruments are utilized to access the spine. Tubular retractors, as opposed to cutting tissue, minimize trauma. If screws and rods are necessary, percutaneous placement through skin incisions can be made, thus eliminating the removal of muscle as with traditional methods.
What to expect for recovery times
Because MIS surgeries do not require highly invasive long incisions along with their resulting tissue damage, hospital stays are shortened and postoperative pain is minimized and manageable. Most patients are able to return home in just two to three days. Some MIS procedures can even be performed on an outpatient basis.
Postoperative physical therapy is usually prescribed to speed recovery. Following a specific program of exercises, determined by your procedure and physical condition, will enable you to regain the strength necessary to return to work and resume normal activity.
It’s important to note that any type of spine surgery should be considered only after nonsurgical treatment — physical therapy and/or pain medications — have proven ineffective for a period of at least six months to a year. Your doctor must also be able to precisely identify the cause of pain such as a herniated disk.
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