Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

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Minimally invasive spine surgery allows surgeons to perform many spinal procedures through skin punctures or incisions less than 1 inch long. It treats:

  • Herniated disc (cervical, thoracic or lumbar disc)
  • Degenerative spinal disease
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spine deformity (such as scoliosis and sagittal malalignment)
  • Spine fracture or trauma
  • Spine infection
  • Spine tumor

Instead of long incisions, minimally invasive spine procedures uses an endoscope, which your doctor inserts through a small incision. An endoscope is a thin telescope-like instrument with a lighted tube and camera attachment.

At UVA, we perform many minimally invasive spinal procedures on an outpatient basis. Our providers have training in the latest techniques and evaluating whether you are an appropriate candidate for minimally invasive surgery.

Advantages of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Advantages of minimally invasive spine surgery include:

  • Reduced operation time
  • Less soft tissue damage
  • Reduced blood loss
  • Less painful surgical incisions that heal faster
  • Faster recovery
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Less visible scarring

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery at UVA

The procedures we perform include:

  • Discectomy
  • Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF)  
  • Posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF)
  • Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF)
  • Extreme lateral lumbar interbody fusion (XLIF)
  • Spinal fusion with bone morphogenetic protein
  • Posterior cervical foraminotomy
  • Anterior thoracoscopic correction
  • Vertebroplasty
  • Kyphoplasty

What it Is, What to Expect

In this podcast, Hamid Hassanzadeh, MD, an orthopedic surgeon, discusses what to expect with minimally invasive spine surgery. View Transcript.

Listen to Podcast