Minimally invasive spine surgery requires surgeons to make tiny incisions on the body, causing less muscle and tissue damage. The spine, spinal discs, muscles, and vertebrae lie beneath layers of muscle and tissue. Accessing the spine and its components requires intricate cutting procedures and extensive maneuvering. With advanced tools and robotics, spine surgery does not have to involve extensive cutting and moving of muscles and tissues. If you need high-quality Connecticut minimally invasive spine surgery, our experienced experts at LAMIS can help.

Understanding Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS), allows surgeons to stabilize the spine, joints, discs, and nerves. MISS has the same goals as conventional open-back surgery. MISS aims to achieve objectives similar to those of traditional spine surgery while minimizing tissue and muscle damage. Some of the benefits you can reap from Connecticut minimally invasive spine surgery include the following:

  • Faster surgery process
  • Less trauma and a reduced risk of muscle damage
  • Reduced risk of complications
  • A shorter recovery period
  • Less blood loss
  • Less damage to the skin since the surgeon only makes tiny incisions
  • Lower risk of infection
  • Reduced need for pain medication
  • Reduced need for rehabilitation and physical therapy after treatment

The Common Types of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

There are several types of minimally invasive spine surgeries. The type of surgery your doctor recommends will depend on your spinal condition and the extent of the illness. Some of the common types of MISS include:


This surgical procedure involves removing material pressing on the spinal cord or nerve root due to a bulging or herniated disc. Doctors use discectomy to treat pinched nerves, nerve root compression, sciatica, bone spurs, or pain that radiates through the limbs, usually called radiculopathy.

Doctors use a microscope or endoscope and special retractors when correcting a herniated disc. These instruments allow a surgeon to make tiny incisions. Surgeons perform discectomy under general anesthesia. The procedure takes around an hour, and you can go home several hours later.

Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion

This procedure, abbreviated as ACDF, involves removing the affected disc through the front of the neck or using the anterior approach. The purpose of the procedure is to decompress or remove pressure from the spine to relieve pain. Doctors combine this procedure with fusion surgery to stabilize the neck. ACDF is effective in treating herniated discs and degenerative disc disease.


When performing a laminectomy, your surgeon will remove the lamina. The lamina is the back side of the vertebra that protects the spinal cord. This procedure aims to relieve pressure from the spinal cord and spinal nerves. You could be a candidate for this procedure if you have a bone spur, herniated disc, or lumbar stenosis.

Your doctor can perform a laminectomy on any spine section using MISS. If you have a single or two-level stenosis, you will likely go home the same day after surgery.


This surgical procedure widens the foramen (tunnel) in your back, where the nerve roots exit your spinal canal. This surgical procedure relieves nerve compression symptoms, also known as radiculopathy or pinched nerves. The symptoms of pinched nerves include discomfort, numbness, muscle weakness, and tingling. This procedure, when performed using MISS, does not require hospitalization. A foraminotomy procedure can treat the following conditions:

  • Herniated disc
  • Foraminal stenosis
  • Nerve root compression (pinched nerve)
  • Sciatica
  • Bone spur
  • Radiculopathy

Spinal Fusion

Surgeons perform spinal fusion to join two or more bones permanently to ensure that there is no movement between the bones. Surgeons use grafts to fuse bones. There are several types of grafts, including autografts and allografts. An autograft is obtained from the surgical area or any other part of your body, mainly the pelvic bone. On the other hand, an allograft is obtained from a bone bank. Surgeons can also use grafts made of synthetic materials.

Spinal fusion can relieve the symptoms of many conditions, including fractures, spondylolisthesis, scoliosis, spinal stenosis, degenerative disk disease, tumors, and infection.

Spinal Instrumentation

Spinal instrumentation is a procedure that seeks to keep the spine segments immobile after a spinal fusion surgery. During a spinal instrumentation procedure, a surgeon inserts rods and screws into the spine to align your bones as the graft heals and the bone fuse together.

Candidates of Connecticut Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Some spinal conditions do not qualify for MISS treatment. Your doctor will review all the treatment options and recommend the most suitable. A doctor can recommend MISS if non-surgical treatments like physical therapy, medication, and steroid injections are ineffective in reducing neck or back pain. You could be a candidate for MISS if you suffer from any of the following conditions:

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a condition characterized by the abnormal narrowing of the vertebral column. It can occur due to thickened ligaments, disc degeneration, or synovial cysts. Spinal stenosis puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots. If you suffer from spinal stenosis, you will likely present with neurogenic claudication. You might have a challenge staying upright when ambulating. People with this condition also tend to lean on a shopping cart. Doctors use MISS to remove the thickened ligament and posterior bone structure to widen the spinal canal.

Thoracic Disc Herniation

MISS also comes in handy when performing thoracic disc herniation surgery. Adopting the posterior approach when removing the thoracic disc poses a high risk of morbidity. However, with MISS, your surgeon will make several tiny incisions to remove the thoracic cavity without interfering with the pleural cavity.

Lumbar Disc Herniation

A bulging or herniated disc that compresses a nerve could result in leg pain, weakness, or numbness. A tubular retractor can be inserted into the spinal column via a less than 1-inch incision. To access the spinal canal, surgeons perform a tiny bone excision known as a laminectomy. Surgeons delicately retract the nerve and remove the ruptured disc. This method eliminates the need for large incisions and muscle stripping linked to standard open surgery. The procedure is usually done in an outpatient environment.

Degenerative Spinal Disease

Patients can have severe disc degeneration and canal or nerve root tunnel stenosis, which causes low back pain, numbness, leg pain, weakness, and challenges walking. Patients with multilevel degenerative disease can need decompression, instrumentation, or fusion. Traditional open surgery involves significant muscle stripping, bone resection to access the disc spaces, and the insertion of rods and screws.

With Connecticut minimally invasive spine surgery, your surgeon will access the disc spaces via small posterior or lateral incisions. The surgeon will perform a discectomy and interbody fusion. Rods and screws can be inserted through many tiny skin incisions.

Spinal Infection

Disc or vertebral body infection can result in back discomfort, leg pain, or neurological impairments. Patients who are resistant to antibiotic treatment or have developed spinal instability or abnormalities require surgery. The MIS lateral approach uses a tiny incision to access the thoracic or lumbar spine and remove diseased tissues. The innovative expandable cage technology allows for the restoration of the spinal column while also stabilizing it using percutaneous screws or rods.

Spinal Deformity

Spinal deformities include sagittal malalignment and scoliosis. Traditional open surgery involves significant exposure for decompression, spinal instrumentation, and fusion. The MISS technique uses a lateral approach, restoring disc height and accomplishing decompression. Computer-guided rod bending technology enables effective rod contouring and placement, even when large equipment segments are required.

Spinal Tumors

Spinal metastases contribute to the vast majority of spinal tumors. Cancer patients live longer lives thanks to advances in chemotherapy and target therapy. However, an increasing number of people are still being diagnosed with spinal metastases.

Previously, patients with metastatic tumors to the spine were only offered palliative radiation. Advances in surgical technique and radiosurgery have presented cancer patients with new therapy options. The MISS method allows for the aggressive excision of tumors. Even in people with advanced cancer, doctors can safely isolate the cancerous tumor from essential neurological regions. This enables radiation oncologists to provide high-dose targeted radiation to inhibit tumor growth.

Spine surgeons can use a variety of minimally invasive procedures, including micro-open decompression and percutaneous fixation, to remove the tumor. These advanced techniques enable surgeons to separate the cancerous tumor from the spinal cord and the nerves.

How Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Works

Before performing the procedure, your surgeon will discuss what you should expect during the surgery. How long the surgery takes will depend on the type of MISS. However, a typical MISS procedure takes between one and two hours.

The steps followed during the procedure could vary slightly depending on the type of MISS. Here is an overview of the typical process:

  • Preparation for surgery — You will change into a hospital gown, confirm the procedure with the healthcare team, and receive an IV line or pre-surgery medication
  • In most cases, your surgeon will administer anesthesia — You will receive general or local anesthesia, depending on your surgery. Local anesthesia only numbs a small area of your body, while general anesthesia puts you to sleep during surgery.
  • The surgery will commence, whereby the surgeon will make one or several incisions on your back
  • The next step involves inserting tubes or instruments. Your surgeon will move your tissues and muscles aside to access the area of the spine being worked on
  • Your doctor will use additional equipment depending on the procedure being performed.

The Risks Associated With Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Compared to open back surgery, MISS is a safer alternative. However, like other medical procedures, there are some risks associated with MISS:

  • Adverse reaction to anesthesia
  • Blood clots
  • Infections at the incision site
  • Spinal fluid leak
  • Injury to the nerves or tissues

Sometimes, minimally invasive spine surgery is not completed in one appointment. In this case, a patient has to undergo a subsequent MISS or open back surgery.

The Success Rate Of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) is popular because it is accessible to the patient. It is also safer and more effective than open surgery. The success rate of MISS is equivalent to that of open surgery. Most patients prefer MISS over open surgery due to the reduced damage to the tissues and nerves.

People treated with minimally invasive spine surgery have fewer complications during and after surgery. MISS also has a short recovery period. You can return to work sooner after a Connecticut minimally invasive spine surgery.

Recovery Period After Connecticut Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Every surgery, especially back surgery, has a recovery period. Minimally invasive spine surgery has a shorter recovery period. Your doctor will discuss the restrictions and limitations with you. Some of the aftercare tips after MISS include:

  • You should avoid taking a shower for one or two days following surgery
  • Avoid baths for up to one month after surgery
  • Do not lift heavy objects for one month or longer after surgery
  • Do not engage in strenuous activity for one or several months after surgery

The recovery period for patients who undergo MISS is easier than for those who undergo open surgery since there is less tissue damage. The potential risks after MISS include nerve damage and infections. Every patient is unique; therefore, the recovery period can differ from patient to patient.

Some patients might require physical therapy after minimally invasive spine surgery. Your doctor will advise whether you need to work with a physical therapist. Doctors can prescribe pain medication to relieve pain or discomfort in the first few days after surgery. You could also experience mild inflammation.

The Cost Of Connecticut Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Minimally invasive spine surgery can be a costly procedure. The total cost for the surgery will depend on where you are based, the medical facility you choose, and your recovery expenses. However, compared to open back surgery, MISS is more affordable. For minimally invasive surgery, your stay in the hospital is typically shorter than when you undergo open surgery. If you have health insurance, the insurance can cover some of the MISS costs.

Find a Connecticut Minimally Invasive Spine Surgeon Near Me

If you seek effective treatment for back pain and related issues, you need a reliable MISS surgeon. At LAMIS, we provide high-quality, yet affordable Connecticut minimally invasive spine surgery. During the initial consultation, you will undergo a comprehensive medical examination to determine if you are a good candidate for MISS. Contact us at 310-734-6088 to speak to one of our MISS experts.

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