Primary Advantages of Minimally Invasive Cervical Spine Surgery

by | Jan 17, 2014 | Healthcare

LenardmdWith the advancement of many surgical techniques and instrumentation such as laparoscopic technology, there are many more options for patients in need of surgery. If you have cervical spine issues, would you rather have surgery using traditional incisions that may be a few inches in length or minimally invasive cervical spine surgery, which involves much smaller incisions? It is obvious that the choice would be the minimally invasive one.

Is this Surgery Right for You?

There are some spinal conditions that may be more advanced or complicated and require traditional surgical methods. Only your doctor can determine whether you are a good candidate for the laparoscopic option. Some degenerative spine conditions may develop secondary problems, which would make laparoscopic methods not as effective.

If minimally invasive cervical spine surgery is recommended by your doctor, the technology involved allows for greater precision and control. Lasers, operating microscopes, computer-guided navigation, and endoscopes are often employed in the surgery room. In some cases, robotic surgery may be recommended as well. The scopes used through these smaller incisions offer the surgeon an excellent view of the nerves so that risk of damage is minimized.


The outcome of minimally invasive cervical spine surgery is quite comparable to the more traditional, open spine surgeries that employ larger incisions and the manipulation of soft tissue and muscles. However, there are several advantages that make the minimally invasive option more desirable:

  • # Soft tissue damage is minimal due to fewer muscle retraction requirements.
  • # Blood loss is greatly reduced during the operation.
  • # The incisions are smaller and therefore, less painful and heal more quickly. Regular band-aids often cover the incisions quite easily.
  • # Recovery time from the surgery is faster and the hospital stay is shorter. While wearing a brace is likely required, you are walking and moving with greater ease.
  • # There is less post-operative pain, which may necessitate reduced doses of pain medication.
  • # Scarring is minimal, so your skin’s appearance is more aesthetically pleasing.

A number of cervical spine conditions can be treated successfully with minimally invasive surgical techniques. Scoliosis, degenerative disc disease, disc herniation, tumors, injury, spinal stenosis and even cervical spine damage caused by arthritis are just a small list. Talk with your doctor about minimally invasive cervical spine surgery to determine if you are a candidate.

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