MISS back surgeryMinimally Invasive Spine Surgery treats spinal conditions without causing undue injury to surrounding soft tissues. The procedure uses a wide variety of advanced techniques, and a truly minimally invasive spine surgery utilizes an endoscope to perform the procedure through the smallest opening. Any other technique is not a true minimally invasive operation.

Some advantages of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery include:

• less post-operative pain
• quicker recovery
• less soft tissue damage
• reduced blood loss
• smaller surgical incisions
• improved function
• less scarring

Those considering back surgery may have heard about MISS, but may have heard misinformation. Minimally invasive back surgery is a highly researched, exceedingly effective procedure that more and more people are turning to. It is not experimental, as surgeons have been performing it for years. That said, improvements are continually being made on minimally invasive spine procedures.

Endoscopic Spine Surgery Vs. Other “Less Invasive” Treatments

Because herniated discs and spine problems are such a pervasive problem, improved treatments are always sought after. Many treatments today are marketed as “less-invasive” or even as MISS, when in reality they are not. Endoscopic spine surgery is what truly minimally invasive back surgeons will perform. Other procedures are simply not minimal or MISS.


Difference in recovery is one of the greatest advantages of MISS compared to traditional spine surgery. After MISS, some return to full activity in 6 weeks. Others, however, require more time. Pain follows the same pattern. MISS patients are discharged in approximately half the time of traditional surgery, and frequently faster. Because minimally invasive techniques preserve muscle function, most patients rehab faster and don’t have to wear a brace beyond the initial follow up. Many find that a brace does however improve incidence of pain for the first 1-2 weeks, and then they only wear it while up and ambulating.

Physical therapy is an important component of a rapid and optimal recovery. In most cases physical therapy starts 2 weeks after surgery, depending on the patient’s overall condition.

Are Their Disadvantages to MISS?

Minimally invasive spine surgery is one of the most exceptional new procedures, largely because so many people suffer from spine conditions. What it means to have back surgery is being redefined.

As more and more professionals learn about the benefits of MISS, like less pain, rapid recovery, and excellent outcomes, more medical professionals will look to offer MISS procedures. Because minimally invasive surgery is highly technical, it requires a high level of training. Any potential disadvantages to MISS will likely come from a lack of sufficient training.

Who is a candidate for a MISS procedure ?

The MISS field has developed to be able to provide procedures for a wide variety of medical conditions. In fact most spine conditions can be treated today with minimally invasive techniques. Traditional surgery remains the best option for patients of high-degree scoliosis, tumors, some infections and spine instability, but this is changing as well.

Every MISS should be individualized to the patient after a complete and thorough diagnosis.