Is Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Right for You?

Minimally invasive spine surgery can treat back and neck pain with a smaller incision, faster recovery and less pain. When nonsurgical spine treatments don’t relieve your spine and neck pain, spine surgery may be your best option. Thanks to new technology and advanced imaging techniques, minimally invasive spine surgery is now an option for some.

Benefits of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

In traditional spine surgery, your surgeon makes a 5- to 7-inch incision and moves muscle to get to your spine. This invasive approach puts you at greater risk for infection, muscle damage, scarring and pain. You can also expect a long recovery.

Minimally invasive spine surgery is a game-changer. Its benefits include:

  • Smaller incision
  • Less injury to muscles around the spine
  • Less bleeding
  • Less pain
  • Shorter hospital stay (an average two to three days)
  • Faster recovery

Am I a Candidate for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

Minimally invasive spine surgery is typically used when doctors can pinpoint the damaged area of the spine, such as with a herniated disc or lumbar stenosis. This procedure may be right for you if you have a condition like this.

How Does Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Work?

Your surgeon makes a 1-to 2-inch incision (ideally the length of a small paperclip) and inserts a thin device called a tubular retractor. He or she feeds tiny surgical tools through this thin passageway to remove disk or bone.

We offer many minimally invasive spine procedures at Emory, including:

Want to learn more about minimally invasive spine surgery?

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About Dr. Michael

michael-keithBuilding on his training and practice at Duke and Emory, Keith Michael specializes in using both minimally invasive and traditional spine surgery techniques to treat cervical and lumbar spine problems. Each surgical procedure is tailored specifically to address the patient’s pathology and clinical complaints, while trying to minimize morbidity and downtime.

His research interests included clinical outcomes measurement, patient education tools and cost-effectiveness studies.

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