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Six Types of Minimally Invasive Back Surgery and What They Treat

Back Surgery

Minimally invasive spine surgery Nashville has been on the rise in recent years. There are a number of benefits to gain from going this route, including less pain and quicker recovery time for patients. In this blog post, we will discuss six different types of minimally invasive back surgery and what they treat.


Discectomy is the most common type of minimally invasive back surgery. It is used to treat a herniated disc, which is a condition in which the jelly-like material that cushions the spinal cord slips out of place and presses on the nerve roots. This can cause pain, numbness, and weakness in the arms and legs.

A discectomy is performed by making a small incision in the back and removing the herniated disc. The surgeon will remove the damaged disc tissue that’s pressing on nerves or causing pain. During this procedure, some bone may need to be removed so that the surgeon has clear access to the disc space. This surgery is generally successful in relieving back pain and improving the quality of life for patients.


A laminectomy is sometimes performed along with discectomy if there are significant spinal stenosis issues along with nerve compression. The surgeon will go through an incision of about 6-10cm and remove the lamina in the affected area, along with a portion of the ligamentum flavum. This can be done to help relieve pressure on a nerve root or spinal cord if it is being pinched from the bone overgrowth that has occurred due to stenosis.

In addition to relieving pain, this surgery often helps address other problems commonly caused by lumbar stenosis, including incontinence and neurological problems such as foot drop and weakness in legs/arms.

Spinal Fusion

Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure in which one or more of the vertebral bones are attached together to prevent movement between these areas. This surgery is often performed if the patient has spinal stenosis, scoliosis, spondylolisthesis, or ankylosing spondylitis.

Spinal fusion can help reduce pain and improve posture/mobility by making it harder for body structures to move out of place. However, this surgery does require that patients remain mostly immobile during the healing process, so it is important to be aware of all possible risks before choosing this treatment option.

Tumor Resection

Tumor resection is a type of surgery that is used to remove cancerous tumors from the spine. This surgery can be done through a number of different methods, including open surgery, minimally invasive surgery, or image-guided surgery.

The goal of tumor resection is to remove as much of the tumor as possible while preserving as much healthy tissue as possible. This surgery is often used in combination with other treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy to improve the chances of a successful outcome.


Foraminotomy is a type of surgery used to treat spinal stenosis by widening the foramen ovale, which is the opening through which the nerve roots exit the spinal canal. This surgery is done by making a small incision in the back and removing any bone or tissue that is blocking the foramen, which is the opening through which the nerve roots exit the spine.

This surgery can help relieve pressure on the nerve roots and improve symptoms such as pain, numbness, and weakness. It is a relatively short and minimally invasive procedure, and most patients are able to return home within 24 hours.


Kyphoplasty is a type of surgery used to treat compression fractures, which are breaks in the vertebrae. This surgery is done by inserting an inflatable balloon into the fractured bone through a small incision in the back.

The balloon is then inflated to expand the vertebra and take pressure off of the spinal cord or nerve roots. Kyphoplasty has become increasingly popular due to its minimally invasive nature and relatively quick recovery time compared to open surgery options.

Most patients tend to return home within 15-20 hours after kyphoplasty, while some may need up to 48 hours if anesthesia is involved in the procedure. This makes it an attractive option for elderly or otherwise very ill patients who might not be able to tolerate a longer hospital stay.

Minimally invasive back surgery is an attractive option for patients who struggle with pain or other issues related to their spine. These procedures have less post-operative discomfort and faster recovery times compared to traditional open surgery options. Patients should discuss all available treatment options with their doctor since the best choice will vary based on the specific details of each case. They should also thoroughly research any surgeons they consider working with since there are some known risks associated with each procedure.

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