Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Minimally invasive spine surgery is an approach in which special surgical instruments are used to see inside the body and perform surgery without the need for a large incision. The increase in minimally invasive spine surgery techniques has been made possible by advances in lasers, endoscopy (en-dos-co-pee), and image guidance systems.1 Although there are risks associated with any type of surgery, including minimally invasive spine surgery, minimally invasive spine surgery offers several advantages over traditional open surgery approaches. The advantages of minimally invasive spine surgery include:

  • Less muscle injury2
  • Less blood loss2
  • Less post-operative pain
  • Faster rehabilitation2
  • Smaller scar
  • Shorter hospital stay2
  • Faster return to activities of daily living including work2

Not all types of spine surgery can be performed using a minimally invasive technique, and minimally invasive spine surgery is not recommended for everyone. If your doctor has recommended spine surgery, ask whether minimally invasive spine surgery may be right for you.

1Jaikumar S, Kim DH, Kam AC. History of minimally invasive spine surgery. Neurosurg. 2002;51(5 Suppl):S1-S14.

2Datamonitor. Stakeholder opinions: Minimally invasive spinal surgery. Product Code: DMHC1938. Published Dec-03. Available at: Accessed: July 5, 2006.