North Carolina

Minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) is a procedure that requires fewer incisions and causes less skin damage to the surrounding tissue and muscles compared to standard spine surgery. Beneath the layers of muscle and tissue lie the vertebrae, discs, spinal nerves, and spine. Accessing the spinal column requires intricate cutting techniques and significant movement. However, thanks to sophisticated instruments and robotics, minimally invasive spine surgery requires less cutting. At LAMIS, we offer affordable and reliable North Carolina minimally invasive spine surgery.

Suitable Candidates for a North Carolina Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Surgeons can stabilize your joints, nerves, discs, and spine using minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) without the need to open up the thoracic chamber. These objectives align with those of traditional open-back operations. Our minimally invasive techniques achieve the same outcomes as traditional spine surgery while sparing the tissues and muscles in your back.

The main advantages of MISS are as follows:

  • Quicker surgery.
  • Reduced stress and potential for muscle injury.
  • Reduced complications.
  • Reduced bleeding.
  • A quicker time to recuperate.
  • As the surgeon makes small incisions, the skin sustains minimal injury.
  • A decreased chance of infection.
  • Less or no requirement for painkillers.
  • There is less of a need for physical therapy and rehabilitation.

Conditions Handled by Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

A North Carolina minimally invasive spine surgery would be beneficial for the following conditions:

Arthritis Or Degenerative Disc Disease

A degenerative disc disorder and back discomfort are often referred to as "wear and tear." When there are variations in the discs, spine ligaments, and bones, it can lead to symptoms such as pain, numbness, and weakness.

Compression Fractures

The primary locations of this condition in elderly osteoporosis patients are the lumbar and thoracic spines. Standing frequently makes compression fractures worse, which can cause severe back discomfort.

Herniated Discs

This mostly affects the cervical, lumbar, or thoracic spine. The condition is often caused by wear and tear or damage. When a disc herniates, a portion protrudes and puts pressure on the root nerves and spinal cord. This pressure could lead to symptoms such as leg numbness, discomfort, and weakness.

Congenital Spinal Disorder

These spinal abnormalities can be caused by genetic or developmental anomalies. Any part of the spine, such as the lumbar, sacrum, cervical, or thoracic region, can be affected. Minimally invasive spine surgery helps stabilize the spine and promote healthy growth.

Osteomyelitis Or Spine Infections

The muscles surrounding the vertebrae of the spine can become infected. While medication is typically effective in treating infections, surgery may be required to fully remove the infection.

Spinal Stenosis

This occurs when the spinal column and its roots in the lower back or neck are compressed.

Spinal Trauma

This can weaken your spine and spinal cord, causing harm to your bones, muscles, and ligaments. However, surgery can help stop further injuries and stabilize your spine.


Scoliosis, an abnormal curvature of the spinal column, can cause pain and restrict movement. In some cases, it can also lead to heart and lung problems. The need for surgery will depend on the severity of the curvature. Our North Carolina minimally invasive spine surgery can reposition your spine, enhance your look, and treat pain, weakening in your muscles, and dyspnea.

Spondylolisthesis And Spinal Instability

This occurs when a vertebra slides in front of each other, causing intense back and leg pain.

Spinal Tumor

Spinal tumors could be either benign or malignant. It is crucial to remove a tumor, even if it is not cancerous, to prevent structural instability in the spine and potential fractures. Moreover, the tumor can directly exert pressure on the nerves of the spinal column, leading to numbness, discomfort, and weakness.

Minimally invasive spine surgery may not be suitable for certain back disorders. Your doctor or healthcare provider will examine the various treatment options with you.

Differences Between Open Surgery and Minimally Invasive Surgery

During traditional open surgery, a surgeon makes a five to six-inch incision. Afterward, the surgeon separates the muscles to the side, revealing the spine. Following this lateral muscle pull, your surgeon would do the following:

  • To access your spine, the intervertebral discs and sick or damaged bones need to be removed.
  • When undergoing bone grafting, it is important to determine the optimal locations for the cages and screws that will support your spinal column and facilitate healing.

The pulling or retraction of muscles during open surgery can cause harm to both the surrounding tissues and the muscles themselves. This is considered to be one of the major disadvantages of open surgery. Retraction often affects a larger region than necessary, even when the goal is to locate the problematic area for the surgeon.

There is a higher risk of muscular injury during open surgery, which can increase a patient's discomfort. However, the discomfort experienced during the healing process differs from the back pain before the procedure. Recovery from open spine surgery takes longer than minimally invasive surgery (MISS). Additionally, a soft tissue injury and extensive incision can raise the risk of infection or blood loss.

To address back issues with minimal damage to the muscles and spine, MISS is used. Surgeons can utilize this technique to focus solely on the affected area.

What To Expect in a North Carolina Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

If you are scheduled for minimally invasive spine surgery, your surgeon will discuss the details with you beforehand. Each type of MISS has its unique characteristics. The surgery itself typically takes 1 to 2 hours to complete. The specific steps taken during the procedure will depend on your situation.

Here is what you may expect:

  • When it comes to accessing your spinal column during surgery, your surgeon will carefully make a small incision in your back. They will then insert a tubular retractor through the soft tissues and skin, creating a tunnel that provides access to the site of spine therapy. The muscles are not severed. Instead, the tubular retractor keeps an opening.
  • The surgeon will use the tubular retractor’s center to insert microscopic instruments for accessing your spine. The retractor is also where the surgeon removes any disc or bone material that needs to be taken out. Additionally, using the same incision, the medical professional will insert all the necessary fusion devices, including rods and screws.
  • During the spine surgery, the surgeon will utilize fluoroscopy to guide the incision site and the insertion of the tubular retractor. These techniques allow the surgeon to view real-time X-ray scans of the patient's spinal column. The images are shown on a screen throughout the procedure, enabling the surgeon to monitor the progress of the operation.
  • The process will conclude with the removal of the tubular retractor, and the physician will put the muscles back in place. This helps reduce the risk of muscular injury during open surgery.

A North Carolina minimally invasive spine surgery often requires general or regional anesthesia. With general anesthesia, you would be unconscious throughout the entire procedure. With regional anesthesia, you would be numb from the waist down but conscious.

Endoscopic MISS

With the ongoing development of new MISS procedures, some surgeons use endoscopes to approach the surgical site in the spinal column. An endoscope comprises a small camera similar to the ones used in knee and shoulder surgery.

During an endoscopic procedure, the surgeon creates two incisions, either 7 mm or 1 cm, to reach the spine. By using water to improve visibility, the surgeon can see the problem and use magnification to treat it. This method is commonly used for surgeries such as discectomies, laminectomies, and fusions.

The Risks Associated with MISS

Minimally invasive spine surgery, like any other treatment, carries some possible dangers. Certain risks associated with MISS are also connected to open procedures. However, in certain cases, minimally invasive surgery seems to have a lower risk of infection. Before surgery, your doctor will discuss the potential dangers and preventive measures with you.

The following are possible side effects of minimally invasive spine surgery:

  • Pain at the graft site — The site of the bone graft can cause pain for some people, but it will improve over time. The discomfort will gradually subside.
  • Infection — Antibiotics are administered to patients before, during, and after surgery to reduce the risk of infection. They help lower the chances of infection occurring.
  • Blood clots — One potential side effect of the procedure is the development of blood clots in the patient's legs, known as deep vein thrombosis. If blood clots break off and travel to your lungs, it can be quite dangerous. However, blood clots are not common with minimally invasive spine procedures.
  • Bleeding — Mild bleeding following surgery is common, but there shouldn't be excessive bleeding.
  • Nerve damage — Blood arteries or nerves may sustain damage during MISS. Although this issue is uncommon, it can still occur.
  • Recurring symptoms — A small percentage of individuals report that their initial symptoms have returned. If this happens, you should contact your surgeon.
  • Pseudoarthrosis — When there is insufficient bone production and incomplete healing of the spinal fusion, the condition is referred to as pseudoarthrosis. If this happens, a second procedure would be necessary to achieve a solid fusion. Smokers are at the highest risk for developing pseudoarthrosis.

Recovery From Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

MISS reduces the length of your hospital stay compared to open-back surgery. In certain cases, the procedure can even be done on an outpatient basis. The required length of hospital stay varies for each patient depending on the specific operation.

Generally speaking:

After undergoing a minimally invasive procedure, most patients can return home on the same day, while a few may need to stay in the hospital for one or two days.

Patients undergoing standard back surgery typically spend three to five days in the hospital. With minimally invasive spine surgery, your muscles and soft tissues are not injured. As a result, there is less post-operative pain compared to open-back surgery. However, it's important to note that you may still experience some discomfort even with a minimally invasive procedure. Fortunately, advancements in pain management allow your physician to effectively control and alleviate your pain.

After surgery, doctors often recommend physical therapy to aid in patients' recovery and help them regain strength. The exercises you should perform are based on your physical health and the specific area of the spine that was affected. With the help of physiotherapy, you can regain strength necessary to resume work and get back to your daily activities.

After undergoing fusion treatment, it may take several months for your bone to fully solidify. However, you will experience faster comfort during this time. It is important to maintain your spine's natural posture as you heal. Your doctor will guide how to stand, sit, walk, and make adjustments to your back.

Depending on the specific operation, returning to work after undergoing a North Carolina minimally invasive spine surgery may take different forms. Your physician will regularly check in on your progress following the surgery to ensure that your recovery is going according to plan.

Here are some crucial factors to consider during the recovery process:

  • You should not take a shower for the first couple of days after surgery.
  • Avoid taking baths for a month after the operation.
  • After surgery, you should consider avoiding lifting heavy objects for at least a month.
  • Refrain from engaging in any demanding work for at least a month.

The Surgical Success Rate For North Carolina Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Due to its ease of use, MISS has become incredibly popular. In addition, it is safer compared to open-back surgery without sacrificing efficacy. Given the equal success rates and reduced hazards associated with open surgery, many patients might choose this procedure. Those who undergo minimally invasive surgery report fewer side effects and a quicker recovery, allowing them to return to their regular activities more quickly.

Cost of MISS

Minimally invasive spine surgery can be expensive, with costs varying depending on your location, choice of medical facility, and any additional recovery fees. However, compared to open back surgery, it is generally less expensive since the hospital stay is shorter. If you have health insurance, it may cover some of the expenses.

Find a North Carolina Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Center Near Me

In the last two to three decades, the utilization of minimally invasive spine surgery has risen significantly. This is primarily due to its ability to generate results that are comparable to open surgery while minimizing tissue damage. If you are experiencing back pain or other related conditions, you can consider consulting a surgeon who is skilled in minimally invasive spine surgery. Our skilled North Carolina minimally invasive spine surgery team at LAMIS Institute is ready to help you. Call us today at 310-734-6088.

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