Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
Minimally invasive spine Surgery (MIS) was developed to treat painful spine conditions with less traumatic impact on the patient’s muscles, tissue and spinal structure. With smaller incisions and access retractors the surgeon can pinpoint and target the effected area of the spine and minimize collateral damage. Where traditional spine surgery used 5 to 6-inch incisions, surgeons who practice MIS are using a 1-2 inch incision. Surgeon use a microscope or micro-loupes looking through the MIS retractor to better visualize the spine and reduce collateral damage. MIS decompression and fusion procedures (such as TLIF, Discectomy and Laminectomy) use special retractors and tools. With fluoroscopy X-ray, small incision is made and the retractor is placed to create a tunnel to the area where the problem exists in the spine. Using a small surgical instruments through the retractor, the surgeon selectively decompresses the spinal nerves taking bone, disc and soft tissue that may be causing inflammation on the spinal nerve.
Advantages of MIS versus open surgery
- Less blood loss
- Reduced risk of muscle or soft tissue damage
- Reduced risk of infection
- Faster recovery from surgery / less rehabilitation required
- Reduced postoperative pain
Types of MIS Procedures
A minimally invasive approach involves a small 15-20mm incision and sequential dilating tubes that gently spread the muscles to afford visualization to the spine. The goal of the technique is decompression of bone or disc that is pressing on the spinal nerves, without a fusion. With this technique, patients have better recovery than traditional open surgery that strips muscle from the bone in order for surgeons to see.
MIS Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF)
The specific advantages of the MIS TLIF are to minimize the risks and maximize the speed to recovery compared with traditional open spine surgery. With the MIS TLIF muscle damage and pain intensity are greatly reduced. This fusion provides stability for the spine by stopping movement that use to cause mechanical pain when the patient moved. The surgery also provides complete decompression of any pressure on the nerves at this level.