South Carolina

Over the past decades, doctors and surgeons have developed a tremendous interest in minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) due to its fundamental principle of reducing approach-related injury while providing similar results as traditional open surgery.

Due to technological advancement, surgeons can treat complex spinal problems, like adult spinal deformity and trauma, through MISS procedures. Our seasoned and reliable orthopedic surgeons at LAMIS are here to help if you or a loved one need South Carolina minimally invasive spine surgery services.

In this article, you will learn more about MISS, who qualifies, how much it could cost you, and what the recovery process could be like for the patients requiring this modern-day surgical procedure.

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery at a Glance

Many spinal problems that once required open surgery are now treatable through MISS, all thanks to technological advancement. Unlike traditional open surgery, when performing a MISS, the surgeon does not have to make a long incision along your back and retract surrounding muscles to access your spine.

Generally speaking, MISS can produce the same results as traditional open surgery. However, the recovery period is faster since the surgeon will make small cuts or incisions on your back and spare your spine muscles, meaning he/she does not have to retract them to perform the procedure. Other advantages of this revolutionary surgical procedure include:

  • You will experience no discomfort during the procedure
  • Less risk of infection and other complications
  • Less blood loss
  • Less trauma and post-surgery pain
  • Reduced need for pain medications
  • Less physical therapy and rehabilitation needed
  • It is faster, meaning you will spend less time in the hospital
  • Quicker resumption of your usual daily activities

Conditions That Are Treatable Using MISS Procedures

While some medical conditions could require traditional open spine surgery, spine surgeons prefer using MISS procedures to treat various spine-related health conditions. Examples of these conditions include:

Compression Fractures

Although it mostly affects the lumbar and thoracic spines of elderly patients with osteoporosis, compression fractures could occur in anyone. A compression fracture is a small break or fracture in your vertebrae that can make it collapse and appear shorter, making you stoop forward over time. A cough, a fall, or lifting heavy weights are examples of causes of this painful condition.

Herniated Disks

A herniated disk is a health condition that can occur anywhere along your spine, especially your lower back. If you are diagnosed with a herniated disc, it means your spinal disc's nucleus pulposus (inner gel-like core) is pushed or forced through a weak point or tear in the tougher outer layer (annulus fibrosus).

The most common cause of herniated disk issues among most people is disc degeneration, a natural process that occurs as one ages.

Also known as a ruptured, slipped, or bulging disk, a herniated disk is one of the most prevalent causes of leg, back, and neck pain among most people, leading to the weakening of spinal discs. Other causes of this condition include:

  • Spinal injury
  • Medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis

Congenital Spinal Disorders

As the name suggests, congenital spinal disorders are spinal disorders that occur in an individual before birth. During fetal development, a child's vertebrae could fail to form correctly, causing abnormal spinal alignment and affecting the baby's nerves. Aside from developmental abnormalities, genetics can also cause congenital spinal disorders in some people.

If you or a loved one has this condition, a surgeon can offer you South Carolina minimally invasive spine surgery services to stabilize and align the spine to allow proper growth.


Scoliosis is a sideways abnormal curvature of the spine that occurs mostly during the growth spurt stage, just before puberty. Although the spine appears slightly curved when viewed from behind, the spine of a person with scoliosis appears S or C-shaped. In most cases, this condition is mild and does not cause symptoms, but sometimes, it can lead to abnormal posture and back pain.

Arthritic/Degenerative Disc Disease

Also known as "wear and tear" changes of the ligaments, bones, and spinal discs, arthritic/degenerative disc disease is the progressive arthritic changes of the facet joints and deterioration of the spinal discs due to age. Although sometimes this condition is unsymptomatic, it could lead to numbness, weakness, and bothersome pain in severe cases.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a spinal condition that occurs when the space around your spine narrows, causing irritation of the spinal cord and nerves surrounding it. Although this condition could affect anyone, it is more common among adults over fifty (50) years old. Below are examples of the causes of spinal stenosis:

  • Bone overgrowth (osteoarthritis)
  • Thickened ligaments
  • Herniated disc
  • Spinal injury or fracture

Spinal Trauma

Spinal trauma is damage to your spinal cord, which could be due to direct injury to the cord itself or indirectly due to a disease or infection of the nearby tissues or bones. Some of the causes of spinal trauma include the following:

  • Gunshot wounds
  • Fall
  • Assault
  • Auto accidents
  • Sport injuries
  • Diving

Depending on the location of the injury, spinal trauma can cause weakness, sensory changes, numbness, or total paralysis. The severity of the symptoms depends on whether the entire cord is injured or only partially injured.

Spinal Infections

Spinal infections are fungal or bacterial infections in or around your backbone or spine. Some of the ways these infections can spread to your backbone are through:

  • Surgery
  • Infection in the blood
  • Infection spreading from the surrounding tissues

Also known as spondylodiscitis, osteomyelitis is a prevalent spinal condition affecting adults. While your doctor can treat this condition using antibiotics, sometimes spinal surgery could be necessary to remove the problem.

It is worth noting that these are not the only conditions that could require treatment using minimally invasive spine surgery procedures. Talk to your doctor when you experience any abnormal symptoms around your spine and lower back to know the root cause of the problem and whether surgery could be necessary to treat the issue.

How to Prepare for a South Carolina Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Most people with back pain or spinal problems will not require surgery. However, if your other treatment options, like chiropractic care, physical therapy, and medication, do not help fix the issue, surgery could be necessary. Fortunately, an orthopedic surgeon can resolve the issue through minimally invasive spine surgery procedures.

If minimally invasive surgery is necessary to treat your issue, you should prepare for the procedure adequately to achieve the best results. Below are tips on how to prepare for your South Carolina minimally invasive spine surgery  services:

  1. Quit smoking or using tobacco products because they can affect the blood clotting process
  2. Exercise regularly to keep your muscles and body in shape for quicker recovery after the surgery
  3. Inform your surgical team of all the products and medications you are taking before the surgery date

Your surgeon will inform you what you can and cannot eat the night before your surgery. On the surgery date, the doctor could require Magnetic Imaging Tests (MRI) or X-ray tests of your spine for precise treatment. Before beginning the surgery, your surgeon could administer an antibiotic injection to help prevent infection during the procedure.

What to Expect During a South Carolina Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Since the spine is a delicate part of your body, you cannot risk settling for any surgeon's services without checking his/her qualifications and experience. Ensure the orthopedic or neurosurgeon you choose has previously treated patients with comparable or related spine conditions.

Depending on which MISS procedure your orthopedic surgeon recommends to address your unique spine problem, the steps of the process could vary. However, below is the typical process to expect if a MISS procedure is necessary to fix your back or spine problem:

     i. The Healthcare Team Will Help You Prepare for the Surgery

The healthcare team will prepare you for the surgery by giving you pre surgery medications and hospital gowns to wear while on the premises.

     ii. You Will Receive the Appropriate Anesthesia

The medical team will administer anesthesia before the procedure. The MISS procedure that your orthopedic surgeon or neurosurgeon recommends will determine the kind of anesthesia you will receive. Local anesthesia could be sufficient for simple or minor spine surgeries to numb the surgical site and minimize discomfort.

However, for complex or lengthy spine surgeries, general anesthesia could be necessary to put you to sleep or make you unconscious during the procedure.

     iii. The Surgery Will Start

The orthopedic surgeon or neurosurgeon you will choose will begin the procedure by making small incisions in your back or side while you are lying face down on the operating table.

     iv. Using Hollow Tubes, The Surgeon Will Keep the Incision Site Open

Once the surgeon makes a small incision on your back, he/she inserts hollow tubes into it to help move tissues and muscles aside to easily access the targeted part or area of your spine. Depending on the type of MISS procedure the surgeon performs on your back, additional instruments and tools may be necessary to correct and fix your spine issue.

     v. The Incision Site is Closed

Your orthopedic or neurosurgeon will use sutures to close the incision site after treating your spine condition. Then, he/she will dress the incision site using an antibiotic to prevent bacterial infection.

If you have a back or spinal issue, consult a neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon to determine your treatment options.

What to Expect During a MISS Procedure

A neurosurgeon can perform certain types of MISS as outpatient procedures, meaning you can go home within twenty-four (24) hours or less. However, after the procedure, your surgeon could require you to remain in the hospital for a few hours to allow your healthcare provider to watch out for any possible complications.

Once you are ready to go home, you should have someone drive you home because the effect of the anesthesia used could affect your ability to drive cautiously like a sober driver would under the same circumstances.

If the surgeon places a drain on the incision site, it will come off within two to three days after the MISS procedure. You could experience a slight pain after the surgery, which you could alleviate using over-the-counter painkillers, walking regularly, or ice packs wrapped in a cloth.

Your surgeon could require you to perform breathing exercises using a spirometer during the first few days after your surgery. These exercises allow your lungs to expand and clear your body's secretions. A small amount of clear fluid may leak from the incision site, which is normal after surgery. However, when the fluid increases or you are experiencing pain or fever, you should speak with your surgeon to check the issue.

After receiving South Carolina minimally invasive spine surgery services, your surgeon will also provide instructions on what you can and cannot do. For instance, he/she could require you to limit bending and lifting heavy weights. After a MISS procedure, remember to follow your surgeon's instructions and guidelines to minimize complications and hasten healing.

Common MISS Procedures You Should Understand

Your surgeon could use several techniques or procedures to perform a MISS. Although this field continues to develop due to the advancement of technology, below are some of the most common MISS procedures your surgeon could recommend to fix your unique back or spinal issue:

  • Spinal decompression
  • Discectomy
  • Lumbar fusion
  • Screws and rods
  • Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion

The specific MISS procedure your orthopedic surgeon will recommend will depend on your unique condition and its severity.

Potential Complications that Can Occur After a MISS Procedure

While it does not occur to every patient, you could experience certain complications after undergoing a MISS procedure. Examples of the possible complications include:

  • Spinal fluid leak
  • Infections of the incision sites
  • Blood clots
  • Nerve and muscle tissue injuries

The Cost of MISS

Although MISS could be a costly procedure, how much you will pay will depend on various factors, including:

  • Where you are
  • The type of MISS you will receive
  • Recovery expenses

However, MISS is a cheaper treatment option for back or spinal problems than traditional open surgery because your hospital stay is shorter. According to the study, the average cost of MISS is $87,454, which is cheaper than open surgery, which could cost you up to $108,843.

Find an Orthopedic Surgeon or Neurosurgeon Near Me

If you have a spine or back problem, your doctor could recommend a reliable orthopedic surgeon or neurosurgeon with experience performing MISS procedures. We invite you to contact our reliable orthopedic surgeons at LAMIS if you are looking for South Carolina minimally invasive spine surgery services to treat back pain, numbness, or related issues.

Call us at 310-734-6088 to discuss your unique issue with our understanding orthopedic surgeons, wherever you are in Los Angeles.

Schedule an Office Consultation


Awards and Seals for Spine Doctor