For many people, talk of surgery sends shivers up and down their spine. When it comes to low back  and neck surgery, many people think of pain and lengthy recoveries. Thankfully, we can tell our patients that spine surgery has made big improvements over the past decades.

Minimally invasive spine surgery is one of the more recent advancements. The goals of minimally invasive spine surgery are the same as traditional spine surgery: relief of pain and disability that stems from conditions like spinal stenosis and disc herniations. Minimally invasive surgery also aims to minimize the muscle damage that can occur with traditional surgery, in hopes of offering our patients a quicker and less painful recovery.

Minimally invasive spine surgery cannot fix everything and is not an option for everyone. There will always be a place for traditional surgical techniques, but if we carefully match our patients to the wide array of surgical techniques, minimally invasive spine surgery can be a great option.

For more information on minimally invasive spine surgery, visit

Alpesh A Patel, MD FACS
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Chicago, IL

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