Health Topic Archives

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MIS)

by Dr. David Kartzman

A number of years ago the neurosurgery group of the University of Rochester invited us to a dinner meeting at which they presented this interesting new concept in surgery. They described the goal of a small incision and a reduced time for recovery. They likened it to "operating in a tube."

In 1990, when I started practicing, the approach to determining if a patient needed surgery and then the approach to surgery were significantly different. MRI was not readily available. The test of choice was the myelogram. If it was positive then the patient would stay in the hospital until they had the surgery. After the surgery, the hospital course was a few more days.

Currently, most people can be assessed by MRI. This is a painless test and gives a good picture of the nervous system in relation to the spine. If the findings are of neurological compression ("pinched nerve") and these match the symptoms and examination findings, then surgery may be required.

MIS is a surgical procedure offered by a number of the surgeons from the University of Rochester. In many cases, people undergoing this procedure will have only an overnight stay in the hospital. At the end of 2014, they added Dr. Shahnawaz Qureshi to their practice. He has completed two fellowships in neurosurgery, including one in complex spine surgery. He is on staff at the Arnot-Ogden Medical Center.

For more information, please visit the University of Rochester's web site.

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