The Vault

While minimally invasive spine surgery has many advantages, anyone considering surgery on their spine should know that there are still potential risks. An internet search of “minimally invasive spine surgery” will produce links to many websites stocked with shining testimonials of how much better the patients felt after the advertised procedure, but there is often little discussion of long term follow-ups, rates of recurrence of symptoms, or the risk of having no relief. Minimally invasive spine surgery is still spine surgery.

Here is a list of the advantages and disadvantages of minimally invasive spine surgery:


  • Smaller incisions, usually a few smaller scars instead of one larger scar
  • Less tissue dissection
  • Less damage to surrounding muscles
  • Potential for less blood loss, quicker healing, a shorter hospital stay, and less pain
  • Quicker return to daily activities


  • Potential for prolonged operative time
  • Usually associated with increased radiation exposure, not appropriate for every case
  • Less surface area of bone exposed for fusion cases
  • May be difficult to repair a spinal fluid leak if one occurs
  • Learning curve for surgeons (takes a few cases to develop competence)

If you are considering a minimally invasive approach, you should understand that each case is considered individually, and you should consult your doctor to see what might be appropriate treatment options after non-operative treatments have been exhausted. Don’t hesitate to contact Spine Center of Texas to know more about minimally invasive spine surgery.

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