Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery – How Does It Work?

In traditional spine surgery, the surgeon makes a three inch incision to access the herniated disc, which can disrupt ligaments and tendons making recovery longer and more painful.

By contrast, a surgeon who is proficient in Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery uses special tools called tubular retractors. A small 1-inch incision is made and the tubular retractor is inserted through the skin and soft tissues to access the spinal column.  The surgeon accesses the spine using instruments that fit through the center of the tube.  The surgeon also uses fluoroscopy to display real-time x-ray images of the patient’s spine on a screen throughout the surgery.

Benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery include:

  • Smaller incision
  • Smaller scar
  • Home the same day
  • Less damage to tissues
  • Less pain after surgery
  • Less blood loss
  • Less pain in recovery
  • Faster return to activity
  • Less risk of complications
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