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Am I a Candidate for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

Back pain

Most everyone deals with back pain at some point in their life. If it becomes chronic and is diagnosed as a serious condition, a doctor might recommend surgery to treat the pain. There is a monumental difference between traditional open surgery and one which is minimally invasive. If you suddenly find yourself in this position, your first question might be: am I a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery?

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MISS)

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery, or MISS, is very different from traditional spine surgery. Rather than making a large incision in the back and moving the muscles and tissue around, or even removing some tissue in order to reach the spinal cord for treatment, minimally invasive surgery starts with a much smaller incision.

Dr. Smith then inserts a retractor, which is a tube-shaped tool, to create a tunnel to the problem area of the spine. Some special instruments and a flexible tube with a light and camera at the end are placed into the tunnel to perform the surgery. Your surgeon then uses a microscope and X-ray images of the spine to complete the procedure.

When a patient has minimally invasive spine surgery, there is less recovery time, a shorter hospital stay, less post-operative pain, and less risk of post-operative complications.

What Makes You a Candidate for MISS?

Certain conditions are conducive for MISS. In many cases, patients who are not candidates for traditional surgery are actually very good patients for minimally invasive spine surgery. 

Those conditions best suited for MISS include the following:

  • Spinal stenosis
  • A herniated disc
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spinal fractures
  • Scoliosis

Other types of patients include the elderly, those that need compression of spinal nerves, greater stability of the spine, and the need to correct a deformity.

Find the Right Specialist

It is essential that you find a spinal surgeon with extensive experience in MISS, like Elite Orthopedics & Spine in Birmingham.

Discuss your options and which type of surgery is best for you and your condition.

Not everyone is a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery.

Contact Dr. Smith’s office at 205-573-4700 for a second opinion, or if you have been diagnosed with one of the above spine conditions and want to discuss treatment options.