If you’re considering surgery for your back or neck, minimally invasive spine surgery might offer you a faster, less painful option.
Using small incisions (cuts), spine surgeons can perform many different procedures with less trauma to your body. And minimally invasive surgery often has faster recovery times.
During minimally invasive spine surgery, the surgeon makes a small incision and inserts a tube to access the problem area. The surgeon then inserts their tools through the tube to work on the spine without disrupting nearby muscles and tissue.
Benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery
Smaller incisions can mean less trauma, less pain and faster recovery. That also means you might not need as much medication to manage your pain. Minimally invasive techniques also result in less blood loss, smaller scars, reduced muscle damage and a lower risk of infection.
Some surgeries are outpatient procedures, so you don’t need a hospital stay, and you can go home the same day. Also, if your procedure only requires local anesthesia to numb your back or neck, you’ll recover more quickly in the hours after your surgery.
Who might need spine surgery
If you have back or neck pain, you should speak with your doctor. They can come up with a care plan specific to your needs. Most people can improve their symptoms through non-surgical treatments such as physical therapy. However, if other treatments don’t relieve your pain, your doctor may talk to you about surgery.
Not all spine conditions can be treated with minimally invasive techniques. Conditions often treated by minimally invasive spine surgery include:
- Fractured vertebra – a broken bone in your spine
- Herniated disc – when part of the cushion between your vertebrae pushes into the spinal canal
- Narrowing spinal canal (spinal stenosis)
- Scoliosis and spine deformities
- Spinal infection
- Spinal instability
- Tumor removal
- Vertebrae defects (spondylolysis)
There are a few minimally invasive spine procedures commonly used to treat these issues:
- Fusing two vertebrae (spinal fusion)
- Removing the back of a vertebra (laminectomy)
- Removing an intervertebral disc (discectomy)
- Repairing a broken vertebra (kyphoplasty)
Find the best spine surgery option for you
Your surgeon can discuss the best spine surgery options for you. Call our free Consult-A-Nurse line to find a physician and schedule an appointment.
If you want to learn more about your spine health, you can take our free, confidential back and neck health risk assessment. The assessment takes about 5 minutes to complete and your results are immediately available. Take the assessment here.