Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery: A Breakthrough for Spinal Problems?

Spine disorders can cause substantial pain and suffering, interfering with everyday activities. Invasive spine surgery is a new technique for treating diseases that involve fewer incisions, less tissue damage, and a quicker recovery. This article gives a thorough introduction to minimally invasive back surgery, including its benefits, typical operations like vbt surgery, and the recovery process. Just a note that this isn't available in the UK at present and this post does not offer medical advice and is for information purposes only.

Understanding Invasive Spine Surgery


The minimally invasive surgical method treats back disorders while causing the least harm to surrounding tissues. Unlike typical open operations requiring extensive incisions and severe muscle damage, minimally invasive techniques approach the spine through tiny incisions using specialized devices and technology.

Who Needs Invasive Spine Surgery?

A specialist or an orthopaedic surgeon specialising in spinal disorders should decide whether you require minimally invasive back surgery. They will assess your illness, symptoms, and medical history to identify the best therapy option. Here are some indicators that you may need surgery.

Chronic Back Or Neck Pain

If you have persistent and severe pain that does not improve with classic therapies (medication, physical therapy, or lifestyle changes), it may be time to consider surgery.

Neurological Symptoms

The existence of neurological symptoms (weakness, numbness, tingling, troubles with coordination) and balance may indicate that nerves in the spine are compressed or irritated. Surgery may be required to alleviate pressure on the damaged nerves.

Structural Abnormalities

X-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans can detect structural problems in the spine, such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis, or deformities like scoliosis. If conservative therapy has failed and these anomalies are causing considerable discomfort or neurological problems, or if they interfere with your everyday life, surgery may be considered.

Ineffective Medical Approaches

If you have tried non-surgical treatments for an extended period and your condition has not changed or worsened, you should consider back surgery as your next option.

Functional Limitations

If your disease severely limits your ability to conduct everyday tasks and impacts your quality of life, and conservative methods have failed to give acceptable relief, surgery may be an option.

Remember that any surgical operation, even minimally invasive back surgery, should only be undertaken after extensive consultation with a trained healthcare expert specializing in spinal disorders. They will assess your circumstances and guide you through the finest treatment choices accessible to you.

Benefits Of Minimal Invasive Surgery

  • Smaller incisions. These are used in minimally invasive operations, resulting in fewer apparent scars and less tissue stress.
  • Less blood loss. Minimally invasive surgical techniques often result in less blood loss throughout the procedure.
  • Reduced muscle damage. Surgeons can use minimally invasive techniques to operate via the natural gaps between muscles, reducing muscle dissection and stress. This can lead to a quicker recovery and less postoperative discomfort.
  • Fast recovery. Compared to typical open operations, invasive surgery generally results in a faster recovery. Smaller incisions and less tissue stress result in shorter hospital stays and faster return to everyday activities.

Common Spine Surgeries

Spine surgery can treat a variety of back problems. Here are some examples of standard procedures.


This technique alleviates pressure on spinal nerves that have been crushed due to a herniated disc. The surgeon removes a tiny part of the herniated disc to reduce discomfort and enhance mobility.


A laminectomy is a surgical procedure that includes removing a tiny piece of the bony arch of the vertebra (lamina) to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerves. This treatment is frequently used to treat spinal stenosis.

Spinal fusion

Spinal fusion is a treatment that fuses two or more vertebrae to support the skeleton. It can be done with minimally invasive methods, including inserting screws, rods, or interbody cages through tiny incisions.

VBT Surgery

Vertical Body Tethering (VBT) is a surgical method used to treat specific types of scoliosis characterized by abnormal spine curvature. VBT has grown in favour of a viable alternative to standard spinal fusion surgery, which involves fusing the vertebrae using bone transplants.

VBT is a minimally invasive alternative to standard spinal fusion surgery, commonly used in adolescents with moderate to severe scoliosis. Its goal is to restore curvature while maintaining flexibility and development potential.

The surgeon creates tiny incisions on the side of the chest and inserts screws into the vertebrae of the curved part of the spine during VBT surgery. A flexible rope or tether is linked to the screws and tightened to straighten the spine progressively. This tethering approach corrects the spinal curvature while retaining part of the spine's natural flexibility and development potential.

Recovery And Rehabilitation

Minimal invasive surgery allows for a faster recovery than standard open procedures. However, the recovery time depends on the individual and the technique. Following are some general guidelines:

  • Hospital stay. Most invasive spine operations are outpatient procedures, allowing patients to return home the same day. A brief hospital stay of 1–2 days may be necessary in rare circumstances.
  • Pain management. Postoperative pain medication is commonly provided to alleviate discomfort. The pain is often less severe because of the smaller incisions and less tissue disruption than in open procedures.
  • Physical therapy. Physical therapy and rehabilitation are critical parts of the healing process. The healthcare staff will advise you on exercises and activities to enhance healing, mobility, and spine strength.
  • Return to activities. The unique method and individual characteristics will determine returning to everyday activities. Most patients can resume mild activities gradually after a few weeks, although complete recovery may take many months.
  • Follow-up care. Regular check-up consultations will be made to check the surgery site, monitor the healing process, and address any emerging concerns or issues.


Minimally invasive back surgery has various advantages over open surgery, including fewer incisions, less tissue stress, and a faster recovery. Various disorders can be efficiently treated using minimally invasive procedures employing specific techniques and devices. However, not all disorders are candidates for minimally invasive surgery, and individual circumstances will determine the optimal treatment strategy. Consultation with a spine expert is required to establish the best treatment option for particular conditions.

*Collaborative post. This post does not offer medical advice and is for information purposes only. This treatment is not available in the UK at present.

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