What is a Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MISS)?

The term “minimally invasive” refers to a surgery that requires a very small incision to gain access to the cause of the back pain and treat it. This is different from a traditional type of spine surgery which uses a longer incision often with more damage and trauma to the internal muscles and tissue surrounding the spine.

Minimally invasive spine surgery, also known as MISS, is a minimally invasive procedure that targets conditions specifically within the spine through the use of small incisions as opposed to traditional open-spine surgery which typically requires a 5-6 inch incisions.

Patients often ask the surgeons at NAO specific questions about minimally invasive spine surgery because they naturally are seeking the least-invasive, minimally painful and easiest surgery for them to undergo so they can get back to enjoying life again.

Michael Glover, MD, MBA, and Eamonn Mahoney, MD, are trained, skilled and leaders in the many types of minimally invasive spine surgery. Their specialized approaches to the surgeries spare the muscles of the spine and preserve the bony parts, allowing for easier, faster healing. Specialized instruments and video cameras inserted through small incisions in the back make it easy to visually see the nerves that are being compressed or causing problems.  Dr. Glover and Dr. Mahoney use MISS to do certain surgeries, these include lumbar discectomy, laminectomy, and spinal fusion.

One of the most advanced types of MISS available in northern Arizona, and only at NAO, is called Endoscopic Spine Surgery. Dr. Glover is the only surgeon north of Phoenix and is the second in the state to be performing this state-of-the-art procedure.