Is Minimally Invasive Spune Surgery Better Than Traditional Oothopedic Surgery?

Back pain: A sworn enemy to 31 million Americans and an estimated 80 percent of the population at some point in their lives, according to the American Chiropractic Association.

For most people, back pain doesn’t go away without treatment. Conservative pain management and physical therapy are first attempted, but when these methods fail to alleviate the symptoms, the next option is orthopedic surgery.

Minimally invasive orthopedic surgery is quickly gaining traction over dated methods of treating back pain as doctors bring patients relief without using the unnecessary and painful techniques traditionally used during surgery. Unfortunately, many surgeons still practice these dated, traditional orthopedic techniques today.

Dr. Scott Katzman of NJ Spine and Orthopedic performs minimally invasive spine surgery on a regular basis and has seen its life-changing benefits first-hand.

“Minimally invasive spine surgery is safe, convenient, and most of all effective. If surgery is needed, it makes for a smarter and long-term option compared to traditional, invasive spine surgery,” Katzman says.

So how exactly is minimally invasive spine surgery better than traditional orthopedic surgery? Here are some advantages of minimally invasive surgery to help back and neck pain sufferers make a confident treatment decision.


Unlike traditional orthopedic surgery, or open-back surgery, patients won’t be subject to large incisions and aggressive repair methods. Instead, minimally invasive surgery uses techniques that only require a small incision without cutting through surrounding muscle. Therefore, this approach, regardless of the procedure, will result in considerably less pain than open-back surgery.

Open-back surgery puts patients in a compromising position by forcing them to miss out on normal life activity to stay in a hospital bed, followed by a long period of pain and recovery. Thanks to minimally invasive techniques, people can live pain-free within days after surgery.


There are a number of different spine conditions in which minimally invasive surgery serves as the best treatment option, if surgery is required. Many people who are experiencing neck or back pain now have safer, more effective treatment options because doctors can take surgeries that had previously required traditional, invasive techniques and apply minimally invasive techniques to treat their condition. These techniques can be applied to almost all common types of orthopedic procedures.

For example, to treat a herniated disc, a small incision no larger than the size of a postage stamp is made in the back. From there, the disc is partially or entirely removed with several different quick, outpatient procedures, depending on the severity and location of the herniation. With minimally invasive techniques, these treatments are much simpler than traditional surgery.

Minimally invasive spine surgery is used for a number of other conditions including pinched nerves, spinal stenosis, sciatica, degenerative disc disease, facet joint disease, bulging disc and disc tears, among others. With such a diverse range of conditions that can be treated this way, patients have higher chances of avoiding painful open-back procedures.


With traditional surgical methods, spine surgery and recovery are not only painful, but also messy, and result in multiple large scars on the back or neck.

“A minimally invasive approach takes aggressive surgery out of the equation,” says Katzman. “We use small incisions to perform our surgeries for a faster recovery, and our techniques require no cutting of the muscle, so little damage is made to surrounding tissue.”

The small two-centimeter incisions made during minimally invasive surgery dramatically reduce the damage to the surrounding tissue and keep blood loss to a minimum to ensure drastically less scarring than traditional orthopedic surgery.


One of the most rewarding benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery is significantly reduced recovery time. Many people suffering from a spine condition worry about how long an operation will take them out of the game, and many opt to live with their neck or back pain instead of seeking treatment. With minimally invasive spine surgery, this fear no longer has to be reality.

“For many patients, the concept that surgery can be done quickly and relatively pain-free doesn’t sink in right away,” Dr. Katzman says. “But once they realize, ‘I’m in and out in a couple of hours and I don’t have to miss out on life,’ they understand how successful and easy these procedures are.”

After being treated, patients return home to rest peacefully for a few days rather than staying in a hospital. Most people are able to go back to work and return to normal activity and energy levels within a week or two.

“When surgery is needed after conservative treatment options have failed, we support the minimally invasive treatment route,” Katzman says. “It means less recovery time, less post-surgery pain and a return to normal, back pain-free life within days.”

Back and neck pain sufferers can find more information about their pain by filling out NJ Spine & Orthopedic’s easy Condition Check tool or by visiting

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