Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Minimally-Invasive Spine Surgery

Minimally invasive surgery refers to advanced surgical techniques that minimize tissue and muscle disruption. Through the use of specialized instrumentation, intraoperative navigation, advanced robotics and microsurgical techniques, our surgeons are able to perform many common spinal procedures through very small incisions. These techniques lead to more rapid recovery, shorter hospital stays (often < 24 hours), less pain, lower complication rates, and faster return to work.

Conditions Treated

Novel procedures have been developed to treat

  • Degenerative spinal conditions
  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Herniated discs (cervical, thoracic, lumbar)
  • Spondylosis
  • Osteoarthritis of the spine
  • Radiculopathy
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis (slipped vertebra)
  • Synovial cysts
  • Spinal deformity
  • Tumors of the spine and spinal cord

Surgical Treatments

Our surgeons specialize in both minimally invasive and traditional open surgical procedures. Members of our Spine Division have been involved in the development of new open and minimally invasive spinal techniques.

  • Interpedicular minimal access surgery
  • Minimally invasive lumbar fusion
  • Minimally invasive percutaneous spinal fusions
  • Minimally invasive thoracic fusion
  • Minimally Invasive tubular spinal decompression
  • Microdiscectomy
  • Laminforaminotomy
  • Artificial disc replacement
  • Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion
  • Spinal navigation
  • Robotic spinal surgery
  • Spinal tumor laser ablation
  • Endoscopic lumbar discectomy
  • Endoscopic lumbar interbody fusion 

Not every patient is a candidate for one of these procedures, and the safety and success of an individual procedure depends on matching the correct patient to the correct procedure.

Surgical Outcomes

Washington University Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) Program for Spine Surgery 

The ERAS program for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Program is designed for rapid recovery of patients who are motivated to return to a higher quality of life with emphasis on patient education, patient rehabilitation, short hospitalization and rapid return to work.