Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery | Minimally Invasive Back Surgery

Minimally Invasive Surgery

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MISS) is any procedure that is performed through a small incision in the neck or back. Compared to the more ‘traditional’ spine surgery which involves a larger incision, minimally invasive procedures use advanced imaging techniques and specialized medical equipment to separate (rather than cut) muscles and tissues.

The spine surgeons at Virginia Spine Institute are on the forefront of minimally invasive procedures that protect healthy tissue and maintain the normal structure of the spine. Our spine surgeons may recommend minimally invasive surgery to treat pain, tingling/numbness, weakness, or instability commonly found in spinal conditions, after exhausting non-operative therapies.

Types of Minimally Invasive Surgery

Endoscopic Spine Surgery

Endoscopic spine surgery allows patients to gain relief from neck or back pain through a tiny incision, performed by a skilled spinal surgeon. In place of the traditional large, open incision, endoscopic surgery uses micro incisions and a small, high-resolution camera to reach disc herniations and compressed structures within the spine.


Laser Spine Surgery

Laser spine surgery utilizes a focused beam of light (laser technology) to remove soft tissues over the spine through a small incision. This is most commonly done to treat herniated or ruptured discs, removing the damaged portion of the disc to reduce pain.


Ultrasonic Spinal Surgery

Ultrasonic spine surgery can be used for many conditions, but is most often utilized when it is necessary to remove a small amount of bone to treat a patient’s pain.

While traditional spine surgery is safe and effective, the usual instruments used to carve away bone or tissue can be tedious and difficult to maneuver, particularly when working in very close proximity to nerves or the spinal cord.

An ultrasonic device, allows the surgeon to very precisely sculpt away bone or other tissues to relieve pressure on nerves with minimal disruption to the surrounding area.



Microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive surgical technique for herniated disks in the lumbar spine. With this technique, your surgeon will create a bone window through a midline incision. Through this bone window, the thecal sac and nerve root can be identified and retracted in order to visualize the herniation. The disc herniation is then removed with micro tools, leaving only healthy disk material behind and decompressing the nerve.


Conditions That Benefit From Minimally Invasive Surgery

Benefits of Minimally Invasive Surgery

Minimally invasive spine surgery offers the same post-surgical benefits as traditional spine surgery, but with much less trauma. In recent years, minimally invasive techniques have changed the face of spine surgery and ultimately surgical recovery.

Some common benefits associated with non-invasive spine surgery include:

  • More effective surgical outcomes
  • Faster recovery time and less post-operative pain
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Less anesthesia and radiation exposure
  • Smaller incisions leading to less scarring
  • Reduced blood loss during surgery
  • Reduced risk of infection

Minimally Invasive FAQs

Why Minimally Invasive Surgery?

Minimally invasive procedures require smaller incisions resulting in faster recovery times, less anesthesia and exposure to radiation, and shorter hospital stays.

How Does This Treatment Help Spinal Conditions?

Minimally invasive spine surgery allows our surgeons to perform complex, detailed procedures through a small incision while protecting the surrounding healthy tissue. Patients that undergo a minimally invasive surgery can expect more effective results, shorter hospital stays, and faster recovery times.

Meet Our Spinal Surgeons

Dr. Thomas Schuler I Spine Surgeon

Spine Surgeon

Dr. Christopher Good I Spine Surgeon

Spine Surgeon
Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Colin Haines I Spine Surgeon

Spine Surgeon
Director of Research

Dr. Ehsan Jazini I Spine Surgeon

Spine Surgeon

Video About Minimally Invasive Surgery

Endoscopic Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

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