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Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Explained

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Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Explained

  • Dr. Charla Fischer
  • Nov 21, 2017

Effective treatment options are the goal for almost everyone suffering from significant back pain, and the latest treatment of minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) is sometimes the answer. If non-surgical methods are unsuccessful, then Dr. Charla Fischer at NYU Langone Center For Musculoskeletal Care in New York City may recommend MISS to give you the relief you’ve been wanting.

Who is a candidate for MISS?

A long list of conditions can be treated with MISS. Some of the disorders include sciatica, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, spondylolisthesis, degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, spinal fractures, tumors, infections and more. The decision whether to pursue MISS is between the patient and Dr. Charla Fischer, individualized according to the patient’s symptoms and overall health.

What is the surgery like?

MISS involves advanced techniques and equipment like lasers, microscopes, endoscopes and computer-assisted navigation to allow the surgeon to perform the procedure through a much smaller incision than is used in open spinal surgery. Overall, most patients can expect their hospital stay for MISS to be about half as long as required from open surgery. Also, there is less pain following MISS treatment than traditional surgery.

What about recovery?

Similar to the hospital stay requiring about half as long, the pain level with MISS is about half as much for most patients. Recovery from each surgery is unique, but many patients return to full normal activity within 6 weeks. Participating in physical therapy as instructed by Dr. Charla Fischer plays an important part in the recovery process.

What are the benefits of MISS?

Minimally invasive surgery is considered to be revolutionary due to its great benefits. Some of these advantages are:

  • Smaller incision: Open surgery requires an incision of 6-8 inches, while the MISS incision is only one inch or less. The incision is targeted to only the specific area of spinal damage, resulting in less trauma to surrounding tissue and muscles.
  • Less scarring: A smaller incision means a much smaller scar on the patient’s back. MISS patients leave the surgery with only a small bandage covering the incision. With the smaller scar, patients have the confidence to wear clothes that do not always cover the back.
  • Surgical technology: Surgeons can access and view the spine through the small incision using advanced technology like fluoroscopes and microscopes. Tiny instruments are used to treat the very specific areas of the spine that require treatment. Technology has also reduced the amount of time required for surgery, allowing for less time under anesthesia.
  • Faster recovery: Open spinal surgery requires a longer hospital stay and extended bed rest, while MISS recovery is much quicker. The small incision and reduced muscle damage promote faster healing and less pain, increasing the patient’s chances of movement and physical therapy sooner.



Minimally invasive spine surgery in New York City is possible through Dr. Charla Fischer.  Schedule an appointment to learn if you are a good candidate for this revolutionary treatment method for back pain.

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