minimally invasive spine surgery

Historically, the only way to correct chronic back or neck pain was with complex and invasive surgeries that left patients with long scars and also meant spending days in the hospital and months recuperating.  But not anymore…

Minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) has been the surgical solution for thousands of patients with neck or back pain. It is one of the most popular types of surgery because it produces amazing results in a short period of time.

At Virella Neurosurgery in Agoura Hills, Valencia and Palmdale, most procedures can be performed through an incision of less than an inch!  

The Advantages ofMinimally Invasive Spine Surgery 

The three distinct advantages associated with Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery are:

  • Patients experience less postoperative pain
  • Patients recover faster
  • Patients can often return home the day of surgery

These advantages are possible due to Dr. Anthony Virella’s unique ability to make tiny incisions and access the spine without having to retract or dissect large muscles. Tiny surgical instruments and live imaging are used during MISS so little muscle trauma occurs during surgery.

Types of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

The most common minimally invasive spine procedures at Virella Neurosurgery include the following and all of these procedures are performed through an incision if an inch or less:

  1. A Minimally Invasive Discectomy. Small portions of diseased or damaged intervertebral disc or bone spur is removed so it no longer compresses the spinal cord and/or nerve roots. This can eliminate both the localized and/or radiating pain associated with a herniated disc.
  2. Cervical Disc Replacement.  During this procedure a small incision is made and diseased or herniated cervical disc is removed.  Once removed, a small implant is placed into the disc space that functions as a spinal disc.  This implant allows for rotation and range of motion in the neck.  Historically, those underwent cervical spine surgery would have limited range of motion after surgery.  However, cervical disc replacement allows for continued range of motion in the neck.
  3. Minimally Invasive Laminectomy. During this procedure a small incision is made to remove the back portion of the vertebral wall known as the lamina. Once the lamina is removed and surrounding bone is carefully smoothed so that the spinal cord and nerve roots are no longer compressed.
  4. Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion. This procedure is recommended only for those with instability of the spine or fractured vertebrae. During the procedure, part of a diseased or damaged disc is removed and then replaced with bone graft. Adjacent vertebrae are fixated in place using small surgical screws. Bone remodeling takes place after surgery and a single, solid bone is formed.

Following these procedures, patients typically experience a significant amount of pain relief and most procedures are performed as an oupatient procedure where you can return home the same day.

Conditions Treated Using Minimally Invasive Surgery

 The most common conditions that MISS is used to treat include the following:

  1. Chronic Back or Neck Pain. Pain that does not go away after conservative treatments such as physical therapy or injections.
  2. Degenerative disc disease. The wear and tear the spinal discs due to aging or trauma.
  3. A herniated disc or Sciatica. The protrusion of an intervertebral disc into the spinal canal and subsequent compression of the spinal cord or spinal nerve roots.  This can cause the pain that radiates into the buttocks and legs (known as Sciatica) or pain that radiates into the arms (known as Radiculopathy).
  4. Spinal stenosis. The narrowing of the spinal canal and compression of the spinal cord.

Other conditions treated by Minimally Invasive Spine Surgeries include spondylolisthesis, spinal fractures, and pinched spinal nerves.

How to Find Out If Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery is Right for You

If you are experiencing neck or back pain that does not respond to nonsurgical treatment options, please contact one of our 3 Southern California offices. We will find out what is causing your pain and then come up with a personalized treatment plan. You can expect results when you choose our clinic.

Dr. Anthony Virella is a Board-Certified, Fellowship trained Neurological Spine Surgeon and a pioneer in Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery. He attended medical school at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and is a graduate of the UCLA Neurosurgery Residency Program.  Dr. Virella is a nationally recognized specialist in the field of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery.  Virella Neurosurgery has offices in Agoura Hills, Valencia and Palmdale, CA.  Contact us today!