Tired of living with chronic neck or back pain? Minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) could be your solution. MISS is less invasive than traditional open surgery, resulting in less pain and a significantly faster recovery.

At LAMIS, we specialize in cutting-edge solutions to alleviate back and neck pain in Nebraska. Arrange a consultation with us to speak to a Nebraska minimally invasive spine surgery expert. Contact us to learn more about how minimally invasive spine surgery might improve your quality of life.

What is Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

Minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) is a modern surgical technique that treats various spinal disorders. Traditional open surgeries require large incisions and extensive muscle dissection. Then again, MISS utilizes specialized instruments and advanced imaging techniques to access the spine with the least amount of tissue disruption possible.

During MISS procedures, surgeons use microscopic imaging tools and endoscopic cameras to navigate the spine with precision. This allows for targeted treatment of spinal abnormalities, such as spinal stenosis, herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, spinal deformities, and spinal tumors. MISS is known to preserve healthy tissue and minimize trauma to surrounding muscles and ligaments.

Comparing Traditional Open Surgery with Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Minimally invasive spine surgery and traditional open spine surgery are two distinct approaches to treating spinal conditions. Each has its benefits and risks.

Mainly, MISS involves small incisions, typically less than an inch in length. The goal is to minimize disruption to surrounding muscles and soft tissues. As mentioned above, spine surgeons utilize endoscopic cameras and microscopic visualization for enhanced precision. This allows them to navigate the spine accurately.

Traditional open surgery involves making larger incisions to gain direct access to the spine. Considerable muscle dissection and retraction are also required. This procedure can cause more tissue trauma, increased blood loss, and potentially longer hospital stays. Furthermore, compared to MISS, traditional open surgery may cause more severe postoperative discomfort and a longer recovery time.

Notwithstanding these differences, the goals of both surgery options are to treat spinal disorders and reduce associated symptoms. However, the appropriateness of each depends on your anatomy, surgical objectives, and condition. Even though MISS has benefits like less tissue damage, quicker healing, and less pain following surgery, traditional open surgery can still be required if the spine needs to be accessed directly.

Make sure you speak with a minimally invasive spine surgeon before deciding between MISS and traditional open surgery. A spine specialist will review your specific requirements and suggest the best course of action.

Common Procedures Performed With Minimally Invasive Techniques

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) highlights that multiple MISS techniques exist. Each is tailored to address a different spinal condition. These procedures include:

  • Discectomy — In this procedure, the surgeon will remove a section of a bulging or herniated disc that is exerting pressure on a spinal nerve. It helps relieve spinal nerve compression and associated pain.
  • Laminectomy — In a laminectomy, spine surgeons remove part of the lamina (the bony arch of the vertebral), to alleviate pressure on the nerves or spinal cord caused by conditions such as spinal stenosis.
  • Foraminotomy — In this procedure, the surgeon will widen the neural foramen to alleviate nerve compression caused by bone spurs or herniated discs.
  • Spinal fusion — Minimally invasive spinal fusion involves joining two or more vertebrae together using bone grafts and sometimes hardware (such as screws and rods) to stabilize the spine and alleviate pain caused by conditions like spinal instability or degenerative disc disease.
  • Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty — These surgical procedures are performed to stabilize and relieve pain associated with vertebral fractures. During a vertebroplasty procedure, the surgeon injects bone cement into the fractured vertebrae. On the other hand, in a kyphoplasty, the surgeon will insert a balloon and inflate it to increase the volume of the vertebrae before injecting the bone cement.
  • Microdiscectomy — Similar to a standard discectomy, a microdiscectomy involves removing part of a herniated disc through a small incision using microscopic visualization for enhanced precision.
  • Artificial disc replacement — In this procedure, a damaged spinal disc is replaced with an artificial disc to maintain motion and stability in the spine, preserving the range of motion and reducing the risk of adjacent segment degeneration.

The specific procedure recommended will depend on factors such as the patient's diagnosis, symptoms, and overall health.

Spinal Conditions That Can Be Treated With Nebraska Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Minimally invasive spine surgery can effectively treat several spinal conditions. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), some common spinal conditions that can be addressed with Nebraska minimally invasive spine surgery include the following:

Herniated Disc

herniated disc, also called a slipped or ruptured disc, is a spinal condition that can cause significant pain and discomfort.

A herniated disc occurs when the soft inner core of a spinal disc protrudes through the tough outer layer. This irritates the nearby nerves and causes symptoms such as localized pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the affected area.

While conservative treatments like rest, physiotherapy and medication can often alleviate symptoms, some cases require surgical intervention. This is especially true if the symptoms persist or worsen over time.

Nebraska minimally invasive spine surgery is highly effective in treating herniated discs because it is safer, more efficient, and less invasive than traditional open surgery. The primary goal of MISS for herniated discs is to relieve pressure on the compressed spinal nerves while minimizing trauma to surrounding tissues.

One common MISS procedure used to treat herniated discs is discectomy. This procedure involves the removal of the portion of the herniated disc that is pressing on the spinal nerves. The surgeon accesses your spine through small incisions, typically less than an inch long. Specialized medical technology enables your surgeon to precisely target and remove the herniated disc material while preserving surrounding healthy tissue. Smaller incisions avoid tissue disruption, reduce blood loss, and decrease postoperative pain.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is the constriction of the neural foramen or spinal canal. It leads to compression of the nerve roots or spinal cord. This narrowing can stem from various factors, including age-related changes, degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, bone spurs, or thickened ligaments.

Spinal stenosis causes back pain, leg pain, numbness, weakness, and difficulty walking or standing for an extended period. To treat spinal stenosis, MISS techniques are used to decompress the spinal cord or nerve roots by removing the structures causing compression, such as bone, or disc material.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is the progressive deterioration of the intervertebral discs in the spine. As the spinal discs lose elasticity and hydration over time, they may become thinner, stiffer, or develop tears. This may cause symptoms such as chronic back pain, stiffness, and reduced flexibility. While degenerative disc disease is a part of the natural aging process, it can cause significant discomfort and impair the quality of life for some individuals.

One common MISS procedure used to treat degenerative disc disease is a discectomy. Your surgeon removes a portion of the degenerated disc that is causing nerve compression or irritation. This procedure can help alleviate pain and other symptoms associated with disc herniation or bulging.

In cases of spinal instability, minimally invasive spinal fusion may be recommended. This procedure involves fusing two or more vertebrae using bone grafts and sometimes hardware (such as screws and rods) to stabilize the spine and relieve pain caused by disc degeneration.


Spondylolisthesis is a spinal condition that occurs when there is a forward displacement of one vertebra over the one beneath it. This displacement can occur due to various factors, including degenerative changes, fractures, congenital defects, or repetitive stress on the spine. Spondylolisthesis can cause symptoms such as lower back pain, sciatica, leg weakness, and changes in gait or posture.

In treating spondylolisthesis, MISS techniques can be used to stabilize the displaced vertebra and alleviate pressure on the spinal nerves with minimal disruption to surrounding tissues. One common MISS technique used to treat spondylolisthesis is minimally invasive spinal fusion.

Your surgeon accesses the spine through small incisions and removes the degenerated disc material between the affected vertebrae. Bone grafts are then inserted into the disc space to promote fusion between the vertebrae, stabilize the spine, and prevent further slippage.

Spinal Tumors

Spinal tumors are abnormal growths of cells within or near the spinal cord or spinal column. These tumors can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

Spinal tumors can originate from the spinal cord, nerve roots, or surrounding structures such as bones, ligaments, or blood vessels. They can cause a range of symptoms depending on their location, size, and type, including back pain, radiating pain into the arms or legs, weakness, numbness, tingling, difficulty walking, and bowel or bladder dysfunction.

The treatment of spinal tumors often requires a multidisciplinary approach involving neurosurgeons, oncologists, radiation oncologists, and other specialists. Currently, MISS has become an increasingly utilized option for treating spinal tumors.

Your surgeon uses minimally invasive tumor resection to remove the tumor from the spinal canal or surrounding tissues. The goal of tumor resection is to achieve maximal tumor removal while preserving neurological function and spinal stability.

Compression Fractures

Compression fractures are a common type of spinal injury. They involve the collapse or compression of one or more vertebrae in the spine.

These fractures can occur due to various factors, including osteoporosis, trauma, or certain medical conditions such as cancer. Compression fractures often lead to symptoms such as severe back pain, loss of height, kyphosis (forward curvature of the spine), and difficulty standing or walking.

Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are two commonly used MISS procedures to treat compression fractures. In vertebroplasty, the surgeon will inject bone cement into the fractured vertebra to stabilize it and relieve pain. On the other hand, in kyphoplasty, the surgeon will insert a balloon-like device into the fractured vertebra and inflate it to restore vertebral height. Then, bone cement is injected, providing additional support and stabilization.

Spinal Deformities

Spinal deformities encompass a range of conditions characterized by abnormal curvature or alignment of the spine. These deformities can manifest in various ways, including the following:

  • Scoliosis — This is the lateral curvature of the spine
  • Kyphosis — This is the excessive forward rounding of the upper back
  • Lordosis — This is the excessive inward curvature of the lower back

Spinal deformities can be congenital (present at birth) or acquired (develop over time). They may result from factors such as genetics, developmental abnormalities, trauma, or degenerative changes.

Minimally invasive spinal fusion is the MISS procedure used to treat spinal deformities. During the Nebraska minimally invasive spine surgery, your surgeon will insert bone grafts and sometimes hardware such as screws and rods. These stabilize the spine and correct abnormal curvature. Additionally, vertebral osteotomies realign the vertebrae and restore normal spinal alignment.

Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

Once you have undergone spinal surgery, you may experience persistent pain. This condition is called Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS).

FBSS can be caused by various factors, such as incomplete healing, scar tissue formation, nerve damage, or recurrent disc herniation. FBSS can significantly affect your quality of life, causing chronic pain, limited mobility, and psychological distress.

There are two most common MISS techniques that a neuro-interventional surgeon can use to cure FBSS. One such technique is a laminectomy. Here, a surgeon will remove a portion of the lamina (the bony arch of the vertebra) to relieve pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.

The other most common MISS technique is a facet joint injection. Facet joints are small joints located between adjacent vertebrae in the spine. In some cases of FBSS, pain may arise from inflammation or degeneration of the facet joints. This technique involves using fluoroscopic guidance to precisely deliver medication (such as corticosteroids) into the affected facet joints to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.

Find a Nebraska Neuro-Interventional Surgeon Near Me

MISS is a safer, more efficient, and less invasive alternative to traditional open surgery. Whether you have a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, spinal deformity, or any other spinal condition, minimally invasive spinal surgery can be an efficient solution to your spinal condition.

If you consider a Nebraska minimally invasive spinal surgery for your back or neck pain, schedule a consultation with LAMIS. Our neuro-interventional surgeon will ensure you receive the personalized treatment and attention you deserve. Call us at 310-734-6088 today.

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