A man with granddaughters sitting on his back

If you’ve experienced back and leg pain, you’re not alone. More than 85% of people over the age of 50 have experienced back pain/leg pain at some point in their lives.

Back and leg pain can be treated with many non-invasive options, such as physical therapy, spinal injections and other methodologies. However, if non-surgical methods of treatment are not sufficient to reduce discomfort, then your doctor may recommend spinal surgery.

With recent advancements in technology and surgical techniques, you may be able to undergo a new surgical option called Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MISS).

Benefits of MISS

Advancements in spinal treatment can mean a more effective procedure, fewer complications and a faster recovery. Talk to your doctor about whether a Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery might be right for you. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of this treatment option. 

Conditions That May Be Treated with Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

  • Herniated disc
  • Spinal decompression
  • Spinal fusion

Diagram of the spineOpen Surgery vs. Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Until recently, spinal surgeries have been performed as “open” surgeries. This means a surgeon typically makes a long incision to allow for visibility and access to the spine in order to perform the surgery. With modern advancements in recent years, more spinal surgeries are able to be performed using minimally invasive techniques.

In some cases, surgeons are able to access and treat the spine through small incisions using specialized instruments. In open surgery the incision is normally 5 to 6 in long and requires the surgeon to retract the muscles to have a clear view and access to the spine. This process of muscle retraction, however, may 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 both mean a longer recovery overall.

Dr. Alvine examining a patient's back In a minimally invasive spine surgery only a very small incision is necessary and the specialized micro-sized instruments used by the surgeon allow for the areas affected to be much more limited with the focus on only the problem spots. Fluoroscopy-real-time x-ray images, as well as an operating microscope allow the surgeon to see what he or she is doing in spite of the small size of the incision.

Whether you need treatment for spinal stenosis or herniated lumbar disk for example, a minimally invasive surgery could shorten your recovery time. Talk to your provider today about your options!

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