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What is Minimally Invasive Spine surgery?

Image of the tool used in spine surgery.
Published by Dr. Umesh Srikantha on April 12, 2020

Minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) is a new and rapidly developing branch of spine surgery in which spine surgery can be done with small incision and reducing damage to the paraspinal muscles.

Conventional spine surgery necessitates extensive muscle dissection and separation of muscle from its attachments. In MISS the muscle attachments are preserved and surgery is done through a tube passed by creating a track through the muscle, thereby preserving its attachments. Once the tube is withdrawn after the surgery, the muscle track closes, thus preventing any dead space at the operative site.

Collage image of two methods of spine surgery compared with x-ray images.

The same technique can be used to operate with an endoscope or a microscope. While using an endoscope, the endoscope can pass within a separate channel within the tube or within a separate sheath of its own. While using a microscope, the tube is just a hollow structure through which the operative site can be visualized and necessary procedure performed.

MISS needs special training and has a long learning curve. Presently, it’s available at only a few centers. Nearly 90% of the surgeries done by Dr. Umesh Srikantha and his team are minimally invasive. They range from procedures as simple as discectomy, decompression or interbody fusion to complex procedures like C1-C2 fusion, Spinal tumour resections and Thoracolumbar corpectomy and spinal reconstruction.

The image illustrates a minimally invasive spine surgery.

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