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Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MISS)

Minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) is a class of surgery that uses advanced technology to treat spine-related neck and back pain while minimizing injury to the patient. MISS is performed with very small incisions, often an inch or less in length, as opposed to the standard method of open surgery, which uses incisions as long as 6 inches. MISS is advantageous in that it typically causes less damage to the muscles and other tissues in the area surrounding the part of the spine that needs attention. This can benefit the patient in a number of ways:

  1. Shorter duration of surgery and time under anesthesia
  2. Reduced pain after surgery, blood loss, and trauma to the body
  3. Reduced risk of infection
  4. Shorter hospital stay – patients normally return home the same day or stay overnight
  5. Faster recovery time
An incision from a minimally invasive neck surgery

An incision from a minimally invasive neck surgery

MISS is used to treat conditions such as:

  1. Herniated disc
  2. Fractured vertebra
  3. Spinal stenosis
  4. Spinal instability, such as spondylolisthesis
  5. Tumors

Common examples of MISS include discectomy, laminectomy, kyphoplasty, and fusion surgeries.

Is MISS right for you?

Surgery is not for everyone, and most people are able to manage their neck or back pain for years with pain medication, physical therapy, or lifestyle changes. Technology and instruments have improved greatly in recent years, but it is important to note there are always risks associated with having surgery. Therefore, our providers usually recommend surgery only after conservative treatments have been exhausted. If you are considering surgery, your surgeon will meet with you to discuss which options may be best suited to your needs. Many factors are considered including the diagnosis of your condition, the severity of your symptoms, location of the neurological issue, and your age and overall health. Your surgeon will give you detailed instructions on how to prepare for your surgery, which may include the need for x-rays or MRIs, as well as medication and diet restrictions.

In many cases, surgery may reduce or eliminate your symptoms, but the results are never guaranteed. Not all spine surgeries can be performed in a minimally invasive manner, and not all hospitals or surgery facilities are equipped for MISS.