Understanding Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

August 29, 2019

Chronic back pain or neck pain can make it challenging to get through the day. You’ve tried many non-surgical options, but those have failed and now you don’t know where to turn. Surgery is a big decision and comes with a lot of questions: what surgeon, what hospital, where to go for rehabilitation and what is the follow up care plan.

When it comes to traditional open-back surgery the complications and disadvantages become greater. There is the potential for significant blood loss, greater risk of infection and long hospital stays that can last up to a week. It also increases the potential to damage normal tissues because the surgeons must cut or move health muscles and soft tissue out of the way to access the spine.

Minimally invasive spine surgeries are growing as the primary choice. Reports have shown that minimally invasive spine surgeries conducted in 2010 accounted for 1/6 of the total number of all spine surgeries in the United States, 1/3 in 2016 and it’s anticipated to be more than ½ in 2020.

So, what are the benefits of a minimally invasive spine surgery?

Minimally invasive spine surgery has multiple advantages over traditional open-back surgery.

Faster recovery

Outpatient procedures mean a faster return to a normal lifestyle. You’ll be able to return to activities faster and have a better experience as a patient.

In a study published in 2017 minimally invasion spine surgery was compared to conventional open back surgery. The first part of the study of 52 patients showed MIS (minimally invasive surgery) patients had significantly less blood loss and less back pain on postoperative day two. In the second part of the study involved 79 patients found that they had significantly less postoperative drainage and shorter postoperative recovery time (40 days vs. 76 days).

Small incisions

Advanced surgical techniques include multiple benefits such as 1-inch incisions, no muscle cutting, small scars, no bleeding and no brace following surgery.

Less costly 

Minimally invasive spine surgery is less expensive. There are typically no expensive hospital fees, a quicker return to work which means less money lost and there are fewer complications.

In a study presented in 2018, 6,569 cases from February 2012-December 2017 were evaluated and of those cases, 86.07 percent reported returning to their usual occupation at the postoperative follow-up.

What happens during minimally invasive spine surgery?

Doctors rely on specialized instruments and tubes that allow access to the spine through smaller incisions. The microscopes allow for magnification and exacting precision during the surgery.

Patients can now have the option to experience outpatient surgery from the best spine surgeons in the Chicago area at one of the leading teaching hospitals in the state.

Our team

Dr. Kern Singh, Dr. Frank Phillips and Dr. Gregory Lopez are all board-certified, spine fellowship-trained surgeons who have conducted extensive research in the latest procedures. They are among the Midwest’s most experienced spine surgeons to treat an ever-evolving list of spinal disorders including: Spinal Stenosis, Sciatica, Spondylolisthesis, Fractures, Instability, Spinal Bone Spur, Pinched Nerves, Tumors, Deformity and Degenerative Disc Disease.

  • https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2017/6194016/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5402483/
  • https://smiss.org/abstract-detail-page/?slug=Minimally-Invasive-Spine-Surgery-through-Lumbar-Decompression:-Patient-Reported-Outcomes-from-more-t