Minimally invasive spinal (MIS) surgery is offered by best in class Manhattan (NYC) NY board certified orthopedic spine surgeon, Dr. Sean McCance, for eligible conditions. With the help of neuronavigation, 3D fluroscopic imaging, robotics, and other innovative navigation tools during minimally invasive spinal surgery, the surgeon can perform the necessary procedure quicker and safer with shorter recovery times and mitigated post-operative risk of infection.

Minimally invasive spinal (MIS) surgery is performed through smaller incisions as opposed to traditional open spine surgery so there is less trauma to the surrounding soft tissue and muscles. A patient may be a candidate for minimally invasive spinal surgery if they suffer from conditions such as spinal instability, lumbar degeneration, herniated discs, and scoliosis. Benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery include smaller incisions and reduced risk of muscle damage during the procedure. Traditional open spine surgery requires longer incisions which can potentially lead to muscle damage, increased bleeding, and a higher risk of infection.

Benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery:

  • Smaller incisions yield better cosmetic outcomes
  • Less risk of muscle damage
  • Reduced blood loss during surgery
  • Reduced post-op pain and risk of infection
  • Significantly less reliance on post-op pain medicine
  • Quicker recovery, less physical rehabilitation required

Overall, minimally invasive spinal surgery aims to access the necessary spinal area without harming / moving the surrounding nerves / muscle / soft tissue. This is achieved through guiding instruments, smaller incisions, and tiny microscopic cameras (placed inside the incisions). Less damage to the surrounding areas means faster recovery times and reduced risk of post-op complications – such as infection, muscle damage, or heavy reliance on post-operative pain medication.

Minimally invasive spinal surgery is often employed for spinal fusions, such as:

Minimally invasive techniques for spinal fusions may be utilized through the use of fluroscopic images and CT Scan based navigation tools to increase accuracy associated with the incision placement and hardware docking. A MIS approach to spinal fusions, when applicable, can help greatly reduce the risk of tissue damage during surgery.

Common minimally invasive spine surgery procedures

  • Spinal Decompression
  • Discectomy
  • Transforminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF)
  • XLIF

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Techniques & Technology

Tubular Retractor

MIS surgery may involve certain technology and surgical techniques, including a tubular retractor. This method involves the progressive dilation of the surrounding soft tissue to avoid slicing through the muscles and causing further damage. The tubes effectively separate the muscles from the incision area to prevent the need to obtusely expose the area. Because MIS surgery also involves minimal access, the best in class spine surgeon may decide to focus a microscope or endoscope through the tube for better visibility. The tubular retractor is removed after the procedure is done, which allows the formerly dilated soft tissue to come together again. This technique may only employ miniscule incisions, depending on the exact procedure.

Direct Lateral Approach

The top rated NYC spine surgeon may employ a direct lateral approach, where the spine is accessed from the side of the body, rather than the back. This method is employed most often when the procedure involves the lumbar spine. This can help reduce post-op pain, as the direct lateral approach helps avoid surrounding muscle tissue damage. The best in class NYC board certified spine surgeon secures a tubular retractor to the side of the spine, which provides the surgeon better access to the spine’s bones and discs.

Percutaneous Screw / Rod Placement

Screws, rods, and other specialized materials may be percutaneously (which means “through the skin”) inserted to stabilize or immobilize the affected area, depending on the performed procedure. While traditional spinal surgery techniques may call for the retraction of soft tissue or muscle, percutaneous screw and rod placement allows the surgeon to insert the materials without damaging / removing tissue. The traditional method, alternatively, involves dissecting or cutting underlying muscle for the optimal view / access to the surgical area. X-ray imaging helps the surgeon accurately place the guidewires in the spinal vertebrae (through the skin). Screws are inserted on top of the guidewires with temporary extenders (the extenders are later removed once the rods and screws are securely connected). Innovative technology such as robots and spinal navigation tools help more accurately and safely perform surgical screw and rod placement.

Thoracoscopic Access Approach

Conditions associated with the front of the thoracic spine require the spine surgeon to access a sensitive area in the chest encircled by the lungs and heart. Traditional access approaches may require the chest to be opened using wide incisions and / or a rib (or more) to be removed to properly access the targeted area of the thoracic spine. Utilizing the thoracoscopic access approach, the top rated New York spine surgeon can access the front of the thoracic spine with the help of much smaller incisions coupled with the use of cameras, working ports, and other instruments to increase visibility and overall accuracy.

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Candidates Typically Suffer From… 

Our best in class, Upper East Side, NYC back & neck pain diagnosis & surgery practice, Spine Associates, is honored to provide you with highly personalized and comprehensive care. Our philosophy of direct management of your case by an expert spine surgeon has made us one of the most trusted and respected spine surgery practices on the Upper East Side in NYC and the world. Feel free to contact the NYC minimally invasive spinal surgery specialist today to discuss your unique spinal condition and start yourself on the road to recovery.

Dr. Sean McCance
1155 Park Avenue, Suite E
New York, NY 10128
(212) 360-6500