If your back hurts, you’re not alone! More than 86 million Americans suffer from back pain – and one third of all adult Americans have experienced back pain in the last thirty days. Back pain is also the number one reason why people stay home from work and the number two reason for hospitalization!
The good news for those suffering from pack pain is that the field of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MISS) continues to grow. Through use of state-of-the-art technology including lasers, endoscopes, and computer-assisted navigation systems, MISS allows for procedures to be done on an out-patient basis with less scarring and a faster recovery time.
Additional benefits of MISS include:
- Less anesthesia than traditional spine surgery
- Less post-operative pain
- Smaller incisions (rather than one large incision)
- Less soft tissue and muscle damage
- Reduced blood loss during surgery
- Reduced risk of infection (especially because incisions are significantly smaller in MISS)
- Less overall cost
- Decreased need for post-surgical narcotic pain medication
Are you a candidate for MISS?
Of course, only your physician can determine if you’re a good candidate for MISS. Generally speaking, however, following are some of the conditions that could mean that MISS may help you:
- Persistent or worsening pain or numbness after all conservative treatment options have been exhausted
- Tingling or numbness in extremities
- Pain that keeps you awake at night
- Back pain that interrupts physical activity (i.e. working out, gardening, jogging, yoga)
- Difficulty standing or walking for long periods of time
- Debilitating back pain that keeps you from normal activities of daily living
- You had previous open back surgery, but are still experiencing pain
While these symptoms may not be indicative of the need for MISS (or even traditional surgery), it’s important to see a specialist about chronic back pain to determine if MISS is right for you!