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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. In spinal surgery, minimally invasive 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 allows the surgeon to make a small incision but visualize a larger area beneath the small incision.

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The potential benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery may include smaller scars following the operation and less damage to the surrounding tissues beneath the skin, meaning less pain and less blood loss. The potential outcomes of such operations are the reduction of pain and morbidity associated with standard open surgery.

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No. There are many factors to consider including age, weight, lifestyle and procedure required. This must all be discussed with your spine surgeon. Typically the following groups of people are not candidates for Minimally Invasive Surgery:

  • Unstable medical conditions that may lead to a higher risk of complications
  • Prior spine surgery in the same location
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