Over the last few decades, technological advancements in surgical procedures have made treatment easier and safer for patients. Today, minimally invasive spinal surgery (MISS) has replaced conventional open techniques for addressing spinal deformities like herniated or torn discs, spinal infections, and degenerative or declining disc conditions. MISS is performed on spine bones and structures and entails minor incisions using advanced tools without opening the surgical area.

The computers, cameras, and other technical tools used in the treatment offer neurointerventional surgeons great precision, leading to several benefits, like reduced bleeding, pain, and hospital stays. However, despite MISS being safer, the result of your treatment can be unpredictable, depending on the skills and expertise of your doctor. If you are interested in addressing your back complications, you need the help of an experienced Montana minimally invasive spine surgery team. At LAMIS, we will guide you and offer quality treatment for the best MISS outcome.

Understanding Minimally Invasive Back or Spine Surgery in Montana

MISS is the latest procedure Montana neurointerventionalists are offering. It is a substitute for the conventional open technique to address various spine conditions. The surgery entails making a minor incision, usually a few inches, and causing the least harm to the muscles and soft tissue. Your doctor cuts open the spine area where the surgery will be performed, then inserts a tubular retractor to make a tunnel. The doctor then relies on modern surgical devices and imaging methods through the tunnel to conduct spinal cord surgery.

The goal is to decompress the back by removing the tissue and putting pressure on the spinal nerve structures. The primary causes of back compression are herniated or torn discs and fragments. You can also undergo MISS for stabilization reasons. When your backbone segments experience several abnormal movements, you can experience a lot of back pain. Miss helps alleviate this pain by stabilizing the spine.

Several surgical procedures you can receive using the least invasive back operation are:

  • Microdiscectomy
  • Microlaminectomy
  • Foraminotomy
  • Advanced back surgery
  • Cervical discectomy
  • Bulging disk surgery

MISS offers multiple benefits. Unfortunately, the treatment is not for every patient with back problems. Therefore, when you are experiencing back issues, talk to your Montana minimally invasive spine surgery neurosurgeon. After a thorough evaluation, the neurointerventionist will suggest the most appropriate treatment. If therapy, medication, and other medical interventions have been unsuccessful, you must undergo spine surgery.

Back Conditions Addressed by Our Montana Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Neurosurgeons

Many people suffer from neck and spinal pain. Nevertheless, some of these disorders can be so severe that they need surgical intervention to relieve the severe pain and restore standard functionality. The back disorders that you can address through MISS are:

Herniated Disc

Between the spine bones is the intervertebral disc that stabilizes the backbone. The discs absorb the pressure you apply to the back when sitting or standing. Under abnormal pressure, the disc can rip, causing a herniated disc. The herniated disc pushes or irritates the back nerves, causing nerve pain that radiates to the legs, arms, and shoulders. In cases of severe nerve compression, your muscles become weak, and you could experience bladder or bowel incontinence. If you experience bowel dysfunction, you have a medical emergency and should call the Montana minimally invasive spine surgery team.

Spinal Stenosis  

Lumbar spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal due to backbone degeneration or arthritis. Other times, the narrowing can be congenital, meaning you were born with a narrow spinal canal.

When you suffer from spinal stenosis, you are likely to complain of symptoms like radiating pain when standing or walking. Usually, the pain eases when you sit or lean forward because the degenerated canal expands or becomes bigger, alleviating the pain. Standing upright or walking narrows the already narrow canal, hence the pain you experience. Other symptoms of the disorder are numbness and tingling sensations.

If you are experiencing these signs, you must visit our Montana minimally invasive spine surgery surgeons to review your stenosis history and physical evaluation.


Sciatica is pain that radiates from the neck via the buttocks to the legs due to the compression of a sciatic nerve. The nerve is responsible for all leg sensations and functions. Anything that exerts pressure on the sciatic nerve can cause sciatica, although the main cause is disc tears. The condition affects a single side of the body, resulting in severe pain and loss of senses. In severe cases, sciatica can cause bowel or bladder dysfunction. When you visit us, we will conduct a physical evaluation and an MRI to determine the best treatment, including MISS.

Spinal Infections

After open-technique back surgery, you risk a spinal infection. An infection could also stem from internal or fungal bacteria. There are various forms of infection, including:

  • Vertebral osteomyelitis
  • Discitis
  • Epidural abscesses

You are at elevated risk of developing this spine disorder if you are on an unbalanced diet or suffer from cancer, HIV, or diabetes. If you have not sustained any back injuries in the recent past and you begin to experience severe back pain, fever, weight loss, or loss of appetite, you could be having a spinal infection, and it is best to talk with our experienced minimally invasive spine surgery neurosurgeons. We will begin with a less invasive treatment like antibiotics to reduce the infection. However, if the condition does not improve, we will opt for the MISS procedure.

Your Montana Spine Operation Consultation

A back operation is usually the last resort when treating spine complications. The consultation with a neurosurgeon for the MISS procedure determines if you qualify as a candidate for the treatment. Also, at the meeting, our Montana minimally invasive spine surgery neurosurgeon will review your medical records and your present treatment. The neurointerventionist will also define your expectations before and after the treatment. They will ask any questions they have regarding the treatment and the options you would prefer for the anesthetic.

Preparations for the Back Operation

Before the back operation, surgeons advise patients to stop smoking to encourage a quicker recovery. Besides, you must quit all medications, even the herbal ones that could interfere with the anesthesia. Again, we will give you antibiotics before the operation to lower the risk of post-surgery complications like spinal infections.

Least invasive Spine Surgery Procedure

The spine's bones, disks, and nerves go deep into the body. Therefore, to access the spine, the spine muscles must move. Your neurointerventionist initiates the movement by making a small cut in the surgical area and inserting a tubular retractor through the incision to create a tunnel to guide surgical tools into the spine. We use various techniques for the surgery, depending on your special needs and back complications.

One of these techniques is the tubular retractor. The technique involves using a tube to progressively dilate the tissues to access the spine via a minor incision. The neurosurgeon utilizes tubes to control muscle movements. In some cases, the surgeon can attach an endoscope to the tube for an accurate view of a specific area of the back. After completing the necessary adjustments, the surgeon removes the retractor, and the delayed muscle resumes its standard position.

Another technique our minimally invasive spine surgery neurosurgeons adopt is the percutaneous technique. It involves the placement of tools like screws for spine stabilization and stimulating vertebral fusion. These instruments are placed by making a minor incision on the skin without cutting the soft tissue, making it a MISS procedure. The surgeon then relies on an X-ray to guide wires into the backbone through the skin. After the rods have been positioned, the surgeon temporarily extracts the guiding cables.

Direct lateral access is another technique neurointerventionalists adopt. The method is used if the issue in your back is in the lower or lumbar section. Your surgeon reduces the pain by accessing the backbone via the side of your body, as there is limited muscle blockage here. For the surgeon to insert the tubular retractor, you should lie on your side to enable viewing of the discs and bones.

Finally, your spine can require your surgeon to use the thoracoscopic access route. The technique enables access to the backbone through the thoracic or front section. Conventional back surgery requires cutting open the chest to extract some ribs to access the affected spine area. However, with MISS, the surgeon only makes a small cut on the skin to insert the cameras to view the spine and identify the problem for fixing. The technique is quick, requires the fewest incisions, and causes little tissue harm and scarring.

Advantages of Least Invasive Spine Operation

Many people never imagine that they will require back surgery. No operation is ideal, but back surgery is the most challenging. After the procedure, you could experience life-long health complications. Thankfully, with technological advancements in the medical field, safer and minimally invasive back operations have been introduced. MISS is among these emerging trends in spine surgery, offering several benefits over conventional open spine surgery. If you are considering a back operation for your spine complications, here are some MISS benefits you should know:

     1. Increased Accuracy and Reduced Risk of Complications

Under minimally invasive back procedures, special tools like tubular retractors and endoscopes allow the surgeon to view the spine without having to cut open the organs. The advanced tools also allow for complex spine surgeries to be performed accurately, making the treatment safe and lowering the risk of complications. The minor cuts involved in MISS reduce the risk of blood loss, spine infections, and soft tissue damage.

     2. Less Scarring

MISS involves small cuts on the skin or soft tissue, leaving you with few or no scars. Therefore, if you are seeking a cosmetically appealing procedure, you should go for MISS, as the scars are barely noticeable and disappear after some time.

     3. Reduced Hospital Stay or Quicker Recovery

A hospital is not a place you want to spend weeks or months. With the least invasive surgeries, you will undergo some spine operations on an outpatient basis. If the treatment is to be done on an inpatient basis, you can go home after one night in the hospital. Apart from a reduced hospital stay, recovery is quicker with the least invasive back surgeries because the treatments involve small incisions.

     4. Less Pain

If you opt for the least invasive surgery for your back, you will have a less traumatic experience as the pain is minimal compared to a traditional open technique. Open surgeries require cutting open big sections of soft tissue, causing a lot of trauma. However, with MISS, the incisions are minor, resulting in less pain and an easier surgical experience.

     5. Less Anesthetic

Allergic reactions to local anesthetics are common in open spine operations. Luckily, with MISS, you require little anesthesia due to the minor cuts, reducing the risk of anesthesia-linked complications.

Least Invasive Back Procedure Complications

Discussing your options with a neurosurgeon is recommended due to the complications associated with spine surgery. Although opting for MISS reduces the risk of complications, some complications could still arise.

One of these complications is an infection. Luckily, your surgeon can reduce the risk of infection by administering antibiotics before and after surgery.

Besides, you risk severe bleeding if the least invasive back surgery does not go as planned. Normally, MISS is associated with less bleeding, but if the treatment does not go as planned, there could be severe bleeding.

Not all minimally invasive back surgeries are successful. Some can be unsuccessful, resulting in the recurrence of old symptoms like severe pain and numbness.

Also, even with the accuracy of the advanced tools used for these surgeries, the risk of nerve damage still exists.

Furthermore, you can experience pain in the incision area, although this disappears after some days.

Lastly, if the surgery does not resolve your back problem, you will need an additional procedure.

Find a Skilled Neurointerventional Surgeon Near Me

With the rapid technological advancements in medicine, you no longer require open surgery for spine complications. A minimally invasive spine procedure can correct most spine disorders with a tiny cut, less bleeding, and less pain. If you are a candidate for the treatment, your neurosurgeon will evaluate you and determine the appropriate technique to address the problem. Even though the treatment offers several benefits, you must find the right surgeon. At LAMIS, we offer the least invasive back surgeries in Montana for the best results. Call us at 310-734-6088 to review your case.

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