Published On: Sun, Aug 14th, 2022

Wondering What is Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery? This Blog is for You

Are you scheduled for minimally invasive spine surgery and nervous about it? Surgeries can be scary, especially back surgeries. Don’t feel anxious. Read this blog to know what to expect from MISS.

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Until the technological developments in the medical field, back surgery used to be a backbreaking(no pun intended) procedure. The doctor will make an incision for about 5 inches in the back. Then the muscles will be moved to the sides, so the doctor can look inside to operate on the defective area.

Open surgeries can be very risky. The patient might not fully recover, or the patient might suffer from severe side effects. Since the muscles are moved around, they can also be permanently damaged.

In minimally invasive spine surgery, the doctor doesn’t have to make an incision for 5 inches. With the technological advancements, the doctor just needs to make an incision in the pain area. MISS procedure is safe and an easy one. Post-surgery, the patient can go home in a short period.

In MISS, the muscles will not be moved, so the patient won’t feel any pain post-surgery. This can be carried out as an outpatient procedure also. The MISS simply holds numerous advantages over the typical open spine surgery.

Needs for a MISS Treatment

First things first, you don’t have to get surgery if you don’t have to. Some spine conditions can be treated with medicines. Get surgery only if the ailment is not getting better with other treatments. Consulting a doctor from Awake Spinal Fusion facility will help you to get a better idea about minimally invasive spine surgery procedure. 

The conditions that can be cured with MISS are:

  • Herniated Disc
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Spinal Instability
  • Fractured Vertebra
  • Spinal Deformities
  • Degenerative Disc Diseases
  • Scoliosis

If you are suffering from any of the conditions mentioned above, consult a doctor. MISS treatment can help you tremendously.

MISS Procedure

Before explaining the MISS procedure, a brief description of the instrument used in the MISS procedure is required. Other than the usual surgery tools, two exclusive tools are used in this procedure. They are:

  • Tubular Retractor
  • Operating Microscope

-Tubular Retractor

A tubular retractor is a tool used to create a tunnel between the doctor and the diseased area. With the help of a tubular retractor, the doctor can access the spine using small surgery tools that will fit inside the tubular retractor. You can learn more about tubular retractors here.

-Operating Microscope

As said, in MISS, the incision will be minor, so the doctor’s vision will be limited. The microscope is used to magnify the operating area, so the doctor can operate without any struggles to see.

Now, as you have learned enough about the tools, we can go back to the procedure of MISS.

Step 1:

First, the surgeon needs to know where to make the incision and where the tubular retractor should be inserted. For that, a method called fluoroscopy is used. In this method, the patient’s spine will be displayed to the doctor as X-ray images. Throughout the surgery, these images will be available to the doctor. The surgeon will view the patient’s spine with a microscope for a better view.

Step 2:

After deciding where to make the incision, the surgeon will make a small incision. A tubular retractor will be inserted through the tissues. The surgeon will access the spine through the retractor. Anything that comes out or goes in should be through this tube.

Step 3:

Retractor will not be removed till the end of the surgery. For some operations, more than one retractor will be used. After the procedure is done retractor will be taken out, and the incised area will be closed. The damages will be minimal in MISS compared to the open surgery.

Risks Involved

No surgery is immune to risks. However minimal the incision is, there are some risks associated with MISS. Some of the potential side effects of MISS are:

  • Nerve Damage
  • Pseudarthrosis 
  • Blood Cots
  • Bleeding
  • Infection

These are some of the risks involved in the surgery. The side effects associated with the surgery are not limited to this list.

Post Surgery

Open surgery requires the patient to be hospitalized for at least 5 days. But, in MISS, the patient will be sent home on the same day or the next day. You will feel pain for some days, which can be treated with medicines. Be sure to consult with the doctor before taking any OTC products. Follow the instruction your surgeon give. You will feel well in a short time.

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