If you have been told that you are a good candidate for spine surgery to help correct a slipped disc, scoliosis, vertebral compression fracture, or another spine problem, then you may be apprehensive about obtaining traditional open back surgery due to fear of surgery complications or extensive post-op pain. 

Thankfully, minimally invasive spine procedures are now available that decrease the chances of spine surgery complications and offer many additional benefits when compared to traditional open spine surgeries. 

Read on to learn about two unique benefits of a minimally invasive spine procedure when compared to traditional open back surgery. 

1. Decrease the Risk of Back Muscle Damage

While open back surgery techniques can vary depending on the surgeon performing them and the conditions being treated, many require a 5- to 6-inch incision in the back to gain access to the spine. After this incision is made, the surgeon must manually move the back muscles and soft tissues surrounding the location of the spine problem in order to see the treatment area fully. Unfortunately, the manual movement of these muscles can sometimes damage them. If muscles are injured during open spine surgery, these injuries can cause great pain after surgery and a limited ability to perform everyday tasks until the muscle injuries have healed. 

To perform minimally invasive spine surgery, a surgeon starts by making just one or more small, about 1/2-inch, incisions in your back. Then, instead of moving muscles and soft tissues away from the spine manually, a small instrument called a tubular retractor is inserted into one of the small incisions; this instrument shifts back muscles and soft tissues only a short distance away from the spine in a way that inflicts little to no trauma on them. 

When back muscles are disturbed much less during surgery, you can typically look forward to less pain after the procedure and an easier recovery process. 

2. Shorten Recovery Time After Surgery 

Another benefit of a minimally invasive spine surgery is the short recovery time needed after this procedure. While a person who obtains traditional open back surgery often needs to stay in the hospital for about three to five days after surgery, a patient who instead undergoes minimally invasive spine surgery can often leave the hospital on the same day of surgery or just a day or two after it is performed. 

While the exact post-hospital recovery process and time period can vary greatly depending on the specific spine condition the surgery corrected, physical therapy and other post-op recovery programs are often more successful in a shorter period of time when damaged back muscles and tissues are not interfering with the goals of these programs. 

If you are hesitant to obtain spine surgery due to the worry of post-surgery complications and a painful, lengthy recovery process, then ask your doctor if a minimally invasive spine procedure is a good option for your condition. 

For more information on minimally invasive spine surgery, contact a medical professional near you.