Minimally Invasive Spine Procedures

The Neurosurgical Spine Services Division has helped advance minimally invasive, minimal access spine surgery. There has been a trend towards smaller incisions and less localized trauma to the perineural tissues in an effort to improve upon clinical outcomes. A secondary benefit of these approaches may be shortened hospital stays.

Minimally invasive or minimal access spinal surgery has been advocated for certain lumbar and cervical pathology, such as disc ruptures. Earlier attempts at minimal access techniques were hindered by limitations in visualization, physician non-familiarity with minimal-access technologies, and lack of availability of high-quality commercially-available surgical adjuncts such as minimal access ports and endoscopes.

Spine surgeons now perform minimal access procedures on a routine basis. These procedures employ technologies which were not available until recently. Each technique builds upon and supplements traditional surgical approaches. The Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Program at UPMC is under the direction of Adam S. Kanter, MD.

Some minimally invasive spine surgeries available at the Spine Services Division include...

Cervical Discectomy
Lateral Access Spine Surgery (XLIF)
Lumbar Discectomy
Stalif C

(See also Spine Trauma in our Brain and Spine Trauma section)