Tampa Minimally Invasive Surgery

These procedures are commonly performed in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine. Minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) is a broad description of several techniques used to treat spinal pathology. Spine surgery is only considered when a period of nonsurgical treatment — such as medications, shots and physical therapy — has not relieved the painful symptoms caused by your back or neck problem. In addition, surgery is only considered if your doctor can localize the source of your pain, such as a herniated disk, spinal stenosis or osteophytes.


Minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) avoids the need for a large incision and extensive damage to the muscles surrounding the spine and results in a quicker recovery. In most cases, this results in less pain after surgery and a faster recovery.


The benefits of spine surgery include:

Tiny scars instead of one large scar
Much shorter hospital stay – discharged the day of, or the day after surgery instead of several days in hospital.
Shorter recovery time – a few weeks instead of 3 months to a year – and quicker return to daily activities, including work
Less blood loss during surgery
Reduced risk of infection


Degenerative disc disease
Herniated discs
Spinal stenosis
Spinal deformities such as scoliosis
Spinal infections
Spinal instability
Vertebral compression fractures


In these procedures, the surgeon uses specialized instruments to access the spine through small incisions. MISS decompression procedures (such as discectomy and laminotomy) are performed with special tools called tubular retractors guided under fluoroscopy, a specific type of x-ray.
This allows real-time x-ray images of the patient’s spine on a screen throughout the surgery. The surgeon also uses an operating microscope or special glasses called loops to magnify the view through the retractor and complete the surgery.


The possible complications of MISS are similar to open spinal fusion surgeries, but there is a reduced infection rate for MISS.
Infection: Antibiotics are given to the patient before, during, and often after surgery to lessen the risk of infections.
Bleeding: A certain amount of bleeding can occur, but this is not typically significant.
Recurring symptoms: Some patients may experience a recurrence of their original symptoms.
Nerve damage: It is possible that a nerve or blood vessel may be injured during this surgery.
Blood clots: It is possible that a nerve or blood vessel may be injured during this surgery.


Minimally invasive procedures require much shorter hospital stays than traditional spine fusions. The exact length of time spent in the hospital will vary with each patient and their individual procedure, but MISS patients usually go home in 1 to 3 days.
The post-operative pain following MISS is often less because these techniques do not damage muscle and soft tissues as much. There will be some discomfort which can be easily managed.
Depending on your procedure and specific needs, physical therapy may be recommended to help you regain strength and speed up your recovery. Each patient’s recovery and return to daily activities after MISS will depend on their specific procedure and health condition.