Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MIS)
What is Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MIS) is a general term used to describe a variety of surgical techniques which involve making smaller incisions and reducing the amount of tissue damage beneath the skin. Spine surgeons who perform minimally invasive spine surgery should be fully trained in the correct use of these techniques.
How Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Works
MIS techniques include the fusion of two vertebrae together and expanding endoscopic procedures. This means the surgery is performed through little holes in the skin as opposed to a larger incision.
Minimally invasive spine surgery is accomplished with the aid of specially designed instruments which assist in visualization of the surgical field. Typically, this is done with tubular retractors which allow the surgeon to make a small incision, but visualize a larger area beneath the small incision.
Benefits of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
The potential benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery may include:
- Smaller scars, meaning less pain and blood loss.
- Less damage to the surrounding tissues beneath the skin, meaning less pain and blood loss.
The potential outcomes of such operations are the reduction of pain and morbidity associated with standard open surgery.
Thank goodness my general practitioner sent me to DFW Center for Spinal Disorders! I could not sit or stand so the staff was very kind to get me in as fast as possible. Dr. Shah was helpful and friendly. I even sent my best friend to see him! – Georgia M.
When is Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Needed?
Spinal surgery is needed when patients have failed conservative measures or have progressive and worsening weakness, numbness or pain. Most procedures can be approached through a minimally invasive surgery (MIS), and would be for the same reasons that spine surgery would be indicated in the first place.
Conditions Treated Using MIS Procedures
MIS surgery can treat patients who need surgery from either cervical or lumbar conditions, including stenosis, herniated discs, spondylolisthesis and at times including scoliosis as well.
Ideal Candidate for MIS Surgery
There are many factors to consider when determining if you are a good candidate for surgery including age, weight, lifestyle, and the procedure required. Reasons someone might not be a candidate are due to unstable medical conditions that may lead to a higher risk of complications, or prior spine surgery in the same location. Good candidates for the procedure have failed conservative treatment, and are in general needing surgery for the first time, though often times, a revision surgery can be performed with minimally invasive means as well.
MIS techniques utilized at DFW center for spinal disorders include:
- Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion
- Extreme lateral interbody fusion
These are used for cervical procedures such as laminoforaminotomy, ACDF.
Different techniques are used for different conditions. For example, a minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion can be used for a spondylolisthesis. While a cervical laminoforaminotomy can be used for a cervical herniated disc or even in a revision setting in someone who has had a previous cervical surgery and is still having radiating arm pain and has failed conservative treatments.
How To Prepare For Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
Your doctor will perform a clinical examination and possibly a few tests prior to surgery to see if you are a candidate for the procedure. These may include an MRI, discography, CT scan, and X-rays. Tell your surgeon what medications you are taking and ask if you should stop taking them before your operation. If you smoke, stop smoking as this slows the ability of bone to grow and repair adequately.
To make your recovery easier, prepare your home for life after surgery and arrange for someone to assist you.
What Can I Expect After Surgery?
After the operation, you may experience pain at the site of the surgery. Your surgeon may prescribe pain or anti-inflammatory medication. Take it as directed.
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Recovery Time
Recovery from a minimally invasive surgery is in general much more rapid, and allowed you to get back to your life sooner and in particular the activities that were likely precluded prior to your surgery due to pain. Recovery is as little as a few days, to as much as 2-4 weeks. Actual recovery times vary based on the specific procedure and patient.
When is MIS Surgery not recommended?
MIS surgery is not recommended for all patients, and sometimes cannot be used for patients who need revision surgery, most types of adult deformity surgery, certain forms of scoliosis.
Schedule a Consultation
If you want to learn more about Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery, contact our office today at 817-916-4685 to schedule a consultation. DFW Center for Spinal Disorders serves Fort Worth, Dallas, Irving and surrounding areas in Texas.