Why Patients Should Consider Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Joseph K. Lee, MD March 27th, 2020

The spine is an integral part of the body, providing us with functional motion and protection of our nerves. Unfortunately, 8 out of 10 individuals will experience back and spine pain at some point in their lifetime.  60 to 80% of patients will suffer from recurrent episodes of pain. Managing severe back pain and sciatica symptoms can be very challenging and frustrating. 

To combat this, Rothman Orthopaedics New York has partnered with Phelps Hospital to build The Phelps Spine Institute to provide a comprehensive approach to the treatment of back and spine pain. 

The Phelps Spine Institute consists of an interdisciplinary team of board-certified spine surgeons, pain management specialists, physical therapists, neurologists, radiologists, and rheumatologists that work together to deliver exceptional spine care to patients. For the majority of patients suffering from back pain and sciatica, the Phelps Spine Institute offers non-operative treatment options—including physical therapy, aqua therapy, acupuncture and meditation—that can aid in alleviating one’s symptoms. 

Joseph Lee, MD, spine surgeon at Rothman Orthopaedics New York and chief of spine surgery at Phelps Hospital, believes that most patients will improve with conservative treatment options. 

“We can now treat the majority of spine pathology and revision cases in a minimally invasive manner that has equivalent clinical and radiographic results without needing the traditional open surgery,” says Dr. Lee. “This will allow patients to return back to living their normal life as quickly as possible.”

For those who exhaust all non-operative options and still have persistent severe, debilitating pain, spine surgery can be a very effective treatment solution. The spine surgeons at Rothman Orthopaedics and the Phelps Spine Institute utilize the most advanced technology and navigation systems to provide a custom surgical solution to a patient’s symptoms. We offer minimally invasive surgical options enhanced with image-guidance navigation to provide high quality and evidence-based spinal care. There are several benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery. 

So why should patients consider minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS)? Read five benefits of MISS below: 

  1. Less post-operative pain - MISS are performed through smaller incisions and tubular retractors, allowing us to visualize the critical parts of the pathology that need to be addressed. The access through tubular retractors reduces the need for extensive lumbar muscle dissection that has been associated with postoperative pain; 

  2. Less blood loss and infection risk - Smaller incisions and less muscle dissection results in less blood loss and reduces need for blood transfusions. Infection risk is also decreased, reducing the need the additional surgery and prolonged antibiotics; 

  3. Shorter hospital stay and recovery time - Patients who undergo MISS surgery are encouraged to ambulate immediately after surgery, which allows faster recovery time and shorter hospital stays; 

  4. Equal clinical and radiographic outcomes compared to traditional open surgery - Performing MISS surgery does not equate into minimally effective surgery. Multiple studies demonstrate that MISS surgery result in equivalent clinical and radiographic success compared to the traditional open success; and

  5. Less narcotic use - the opioid crisis is a significant healthcare and societal problem. Spine surgeons at Rothman Orthopaedics multimodal analgesia and MISS spine techniques help reduce the need for postoperative narcotic use. 

Our goal at Rothman Orthopaedics and Phelps Spine Institute is to provide our community with the highest quality of spine care that is safe, efficient, and evidence-based. Each patient will be offered a customized treatment plan that will allow one to return back to normal living as quickly as possible. 

For more information about the spine surgeons at Rothman Orthopaedics and the Phelps Spine Institute, please call Rothman Orthopaedics at 888-636-7840 or visit, RothmanNY.com. 


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