How Minimally Invasive Techniques Have Changed Spine Surgery

How Minimally Invasive Techniques Have Changed Spine Surgery

Spinal issues typically cause a lot of pain. Doctors generally recommend painkillers when other treatment approaches fail to work.

Spinal surgery is an understandable cause for apprehension. Many people dread procedures involving prodding around the spine, seeing how crucial it is to everything we do, from movement to responding to external stimuli.

Thankfully, open surgery is no longer the only option. Minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) has come a long way in making spinal surgery less scary than it used to be while improving outcomes.

As a facility home to the best spine surgeon in NJ, we know how MISS has changed the field and how it continues to improve patients’ lives across the country.

Open Surgery vs. Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

When you have a spinal issue requiring surgery, the surgeon must get through layers of muscles and other tissue to reach the vertebrae.

In open surgery, the surgeon makes a long incision along the spine to get all the protective tissue around it out of the way.

With minimally invasive spine surgery, the doctor only needs to make tiny incisions around the area before using a narrow tubular retractor to gain access to the surgery area without inflicting too much damage on the surrounding tissue.

Minimally invasive techniques have developed in leaps and bounds in recent times. According to a report in World Neurosurgery, MISS can work for 75% of the approximately 1.2 million spinal procedures completed in the United States each year.

How Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Has Improved Treatment for Spinal Conditions

MISS has changed spinal surgery in the following ways:

Less Traumatic Procedures

During a standard open surgery, the body undergoes a significant amount of trauma. Therefore, as you recover from the condition you’re under treatment for, you must also recover from the damage to your muscles and other tissue surrounding the surgery site.

With MISS, there’s little to no muscle cutting, even with the placement of screws and rods. Therefore, your body can channel resources to heal the vertebrae, nerves, and discs instead of the muscles.

Less Pain

Since MISS requires smaller incisions and little damage, you’ll experience much less pain after the surgery and in the days and weeks that follow. This means you won’t need to consume too much pain medication, making you less likely to become dependent.

Faster Recovery Timelines 

You elected to undergo spine surgery to get rid of the pain you’ve been living with for months or years. The last thing you need is a surgery that will delay your recovery by weeks or even require you to undergo long-term rehabilitation.

However, that’s what you’re likely to get with open surgery, as there’s more pressure on the spinal cord.

On the other hand, minimally invasive spine surgery reduces your recovery timeline, allowing you to put your spinal issues behind you a lot faster.

Lower Risk of Complications

All major surgical procedures have their attendant risks. However, with minimally invasive spine surgery, you’ll only need to worry about possible infection around the incision site and reaction to the anesthesia.

According to Global Spine Journal, MISS reduces blood loss by 8.5 times compared to open surgery, and surgical site infections develop in around 0.22% of cases.  

Better Cosmetic Results

Open surgery often means visible scars you may need to explain every time someone sees them. With MISS, there’s very little scarring for most patients. So, you can still recover from that long-term issue without drastic changes to your appearance.

Who Is a Candidate for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Schedule a Consultation for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Today

Are you considering surgery as the solution to your spinal issues? Reach out to Grigory Goldberg, MD, the leading spine specialist in New Jersey.

Our doctors accept most insurance plans, including workers’ compensation, no-fault, and PIP (personal injury protection). Same-day appointments may be available.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation or find out whether you’re a good candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery.


Who Is a Candidate for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

Although MISS works for most spinal surgery cases, it’s not for everyone. Doctors evaluate each patient on a case-by-case basis to determine whether they are a good candidate.

Which Conditions Can Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Treat?

Surgeons use minimally invasive spine surgery to treat a range of conditions, including spinal fusion, spinal tumor decompression, spinal stenosis, disc herniation, scoliosis, and more.

What Is the Success Rate?

Minimally invasive spine surgery has a robust success rate, with estimates as high as 90%.

About The Author

Picture of Dr. Grigory Goldberg, MD

Dr. Grigory Goldberg, MD

Dr. Grigory Goldberg, MD is a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon specializing in spine surgery. He is an expert in all aspects of spine surgery, including degenerative diseases of the cervical and lumbar spine, tumors, fractures, infections, and revision of the back and neck. He has extensive experience in the field of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery and Motion Preserving Spine Surgery. Dr. Goldberg helped develop and pioneered the most advanced procedures in the field of spine surgery and has invented and hold patents for a number of medical devices.

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