What is it?

Minimally invasive spinal surgery aims to eliminate unnecessary trauma or tissue injury while attempting to treat back or neck pain caused by a spinal disorder by entering the body through a small incision. It typically uses computer-assisted technology or specialized tools. There are three common techniques: mini-open, tubular and endoscopic. Each technique aims to reduce blood loss, risk of infection and muscle damage by minimizing the size of the surgical incision. These techniques can be used to help accomplish either decompression, the release of pressure off the spinal cord or nerve roots to relieve pinch nerves and pain, or stabilization, the stabilizing of spinal tissues commonly completed through fusion.

What are the reasons for and against MISS?

Some of the most influential benefits of MISS is the smaller risk to infection during or after surgery due the smaller incision size compared to open back surgery; the decreased blood loss since the incision size is much smaller (can be less than one inch in some cases); typically minimal pain during and after the procedure; and a quicker expected recovery period post-surgery. Despite these great potential benefits, MISS is not suited for all back or neck injuries and cannot treat severe spinal trauma. MISS is commonly used in many spinal surgeries like discectomyforaminotomylaminectomy and laminotomy. There is also the challenge of finding a trusted neurosurgeon skilled to perform the procedure not all practices and surgeons perform MISS.

Fortunately, Dr. Kuether at Kuether Brain & Spine performs both open and minimally invasive surgeries to try to provide the best solutions for his patients. His expertise in brain and spinal disorders with minimally invasive surgical techniques and his experience as the Director of Neurotrauma at Legacy Emanuel Hospital and Chair of Neurosurgery at Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital differentiate him from other surgeons in our area. Ultimately, MISS is an incredible advancement to brain and spinal surgery and Kuether Brain & Spine is committed to staying as technologically advanced as possible to provide the highest quality care to our patients.