Traditionally, spinal surgeries are done as open surgery. Open surgery means that the area being operated is opened with a long incision, which allows the surgeon to directly view and access the anatomy. However now, due to advanced technology, many spinal surgeries can be done with minimally invasive surgical techniques.
Since minimally invasive spinal surgery (MISS) does not include a long incision, it prevents significant damage to the back muscles around the spine. Typically, this leads to lesser pain and faster recovery when compared to traditional open surgery.
There are many minimally invasive surgical techniques. The common factor between all of them is that they include smaller incisions and cause less muscle damage.
Comparison between MISS and Open spinal surgery:
Minimally invasive spine surgery is also called less invasive spine surgery. In this kind of surgery, doctors use specialized instruments to access the spine through small incisions.
In traditional open surgery, the surgeon makes a 5 to 6-inch-long incision, and then moves the back muscles to the side in order to see the spine. This enables the surgeon to access the spine and remove damaged bone or intervertebral disks. The surgeon can also easily place screws, cages, or bone graft required to stabilize the vertebral bones and promote healing.
One of the biggest drawbacks of the open surgery is that the retraction of the back muscles can cause damage both to the muscles and the surrounding tissues. As a result, there are greater chances of muscle injury, and patients may experience pain after surgery, which is different from the pain felt before the surgery. This leads to a longer recovery period. The bigger incision and soft tissue damage can also increase blood loss and the risk of infection.
Minimally invasive spinal surgery treats the spine problems with less damage to the muscles and other structures in the spine. It helps the surgeon to access only the site where the problem exists, and not the entire area.
Main advantages of MISS include:
- Smaller incisions
- Less bleeding
- Faster recovery
- Less postoperative pain
- Lower risk of infection
- Shorter hospital stay
What is Mini Lumbar Spinal Fusion?
Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure to join two or more vertebral bones of your spine permanently. In Mini Lumbar Spinal Fusion or minimally invasive lumbar spinal fusion, a smaller incision is made when compared to traditional open surgery.
Various conditions can cause vertebral bones of the spine to move against each other. This can compress or stretch the surrounding tissues like nerves, muscles or ligaments, and cause pain. Spinal fusion helps in stopping this pain by preventing the movement between your vertebrae.
Why do I need Mini Lumbar Spinal Fusion?
The doctor may advise a Mini Lumbar Spinal Fusion surgery if you have any of the following medical conditions like:
- Spinal Stenosis
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Fracture of spine
- Infection in the spinal column
- Tumor in the spinal column
These conditions usually cause significant back pain. Your doctor may first try other more conservative treatment methods like pain medications and physical therapy. However, if you do not get relief or your pain worsens, the doctor may suggest Mini Lumbar Spinal Fusion.