Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Overview

Minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) is spine surgery that avoids surgically traumatizing large spine muscles. Advantages MISS has over traditional spine surgery include:

  • Less postoperative pain
  • Less time spent in the hospital
  • Better response to physical therapy
  • Quicker recovery

Most spine procedures are performed minimally invasively because of these wonderful advantages. Patients who would like to find out if they are a MISS candidate are encouraged to make an appointment with a Carolina Orthopaedic and Neurosurgical Associates’ (CONA) spine specialist.

How is MISS performed?

MISS is performed on an outpatient or inpatient (1-3 night hospital stay) basis. A CONA specialist:

  • Gently retracts soft tissues
  • Carefully guides tiny instruments into the surgical site
  • Restores spine anatomy and function

Absorbable sutures close tissue layers. Removeable sutures close the skin. Total procedure time is 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the MISS procedure.  

What conditions can MISS treat?

MISS may be recommended to treat:

  • Bone spurs
  • Cervical radiculopathy
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Disc herniation
  • Facet joint syndrome
  • Spinal stenosis

MISS is recommended when these conditions are severe and do not respond to nonsurgical treatment options.

What is MISS recovery like?

MISS recovery is significantly shorter than traditional spine surgery recovery because large spine muscles are not surgically traumatized. Some patients return home after shortly after their procedure when they are alert and awake and their discomfort is controlled. Some patients may stay in the hospital for 1-3 nights. Follow-up appointments occur 2 weeks, 1, 3, 6 and 8 months after surgery. Total recovery time depends on the procedure performed. CONA specialists explain every recovery step during an initial MISS consultation.

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