Minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) spinal fusion can now be accomplished using two small poke-hole incisions with minimal dissection, blood loss, and less pain resulting in a faster recovery than traditional open spinal surgery. With traditional spinal surgery it is necessary to cut through muscles and pull them out of the way in order to reach the spine. This causes a large amount of pain, blood loss and lengthens recovery. By gently spreading through the muscles, the MISS technique allows us to reach the spine with much less pain and blood loss.
Using the MISS technique, a transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) is the most common procedure performed. The MISS TLIF is commonly performed for a multitude of spinal conditions, such as herniated disks, spondylolisthesis and degenerative disc disease. A MISS TLIF involves relieving back and leg pain by removing any pressure on the nerve along with removing the disk. The disk is then replaced with a bone graft spacer, through which the vertebrae will fuse together. Small screws connected by rods are also placed and meant to hold the spacer in place to allow fusion to occur.
The major advantage of all of these minimally invasive techniques is that there is less damage caused to the surrounding tissues. There is rarely a need for a blood transfusion, often there is less need for narcotic pain medications, and usually there is a shorter hospital stay.