What is the Recovery Time for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

One of the most significant benefits of having minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) is that you’ll be able to recover more quickly since the incision through which the surgery is conducted in smaller muscles and other soft tissue doesn’t need to be cut, exposing the operated area; This lowers the risk for complications and improves the chances of a more rapid return to normalcy after surgery. For instance, the advantages of minimally invasive spinal surgery TLIF from Dr. Juris Shibayama include less blood loss, less pain, and less time spent in the hospital.

In addition, if you need to go back for another procedure in the future, Dr. Shibayama, an expert in this technique, ensures there won’t be a need to work around any previous surgical scars. Let’s take an in-depth look at what you can expect for your recovery time.

Common Minimally Invasive Back Surgeries

Before delving further, let’s look at the minimally invasive spine surgery types to have a better perspective.


This procedure is done on patients who have pinched nerves in their spine. The surgeon removes a small portion of the bone lying above the nerve root to minimize nerve root compression during the procedure. This surgery can also relieve pain in the back and legs caused by pinched nerves.


Laminectomy is a minimally invasive back surgery that reduces lower back pain and stiffness by relieving pressure on the spine. During a laminectomy, a spinal surgeon removes the back part of one or more vertebrae (bones in the spine) that presses on nerves. This procedure often treats spinal stenosis, where the spinal canal narrows and puts pressure on the spinal cord.

Note: Beware of the common medical malpractices that often lead to injuries.

How Long Does Recovery Take?

Recovery time varies depending on the procedure but can generally range between 3-6 months, although most patients can go home a day or two following surgery.

However, returning home after surgery is just the beginning of the recovery process, so it’s essential to take care of yourself and make your recovery as quick and easy as possible.

The Difficult First Few Weeks

The first few weeks after spinal surgery can be the most difficult as patients are at risk for making sudden, twisting, or jerking movements and must avoid certain activities to ensure proper healing. Initial rehab after spinal surgery involves pain management and wound care. Thankfully, minimally invasive surgeries reduce postoperative pain with minimal need for addictive painkillers. This procedure also speeds up healing time.

Even after you’re deemed fully recovered, it’s essential to take extra precautions while performing certain activities. Try out some dietary changes that could reduce inflammation and improve healing.

Using Physical Therapy and Exercise

Physical therapy can help prevent future injuries after surgery by strengthening the back. Doctors may recommend physical therapy for the first week after surgery. After that, light exercise like walking can help strengthen the back. Lifting loads within a person’s capacity is acceptable from 3-4 months of recovery, depending on the procedure.

Patients are advised not to do exercises that require twisting or bending, as these could disrupt the healing process. However, if you keep a healthy lifestyle, it’s possible to avoid pain and reduce your risk for future back problems.

Resuming Work and Your Regular Activities

Getting back to work and your daily activities depends on several factors. Depending on the surgery done, it could be several weeks before you can return to work. Patients with more minor invasive procedures to heal sciatica or herniated discs can often return to their regular activities after 4-6 weeks. However, patients with degenerative conditions like spinal stenosis may need a more extended recovery period before heading back to their usual routine.

Reasons That the Recovery Period is Shorter for Minimally Invasive Back Surgery

For minimally invasive surgery, you can expect a shorter recovery time. Open surgeries often require 5-6 inch incisions, causing the back muscles to be detached from the bone for the spine to be accessed. These more extensive incisions then take longer for the body to heal. With minimally invasive surgery, you can expect much smaller incisions (about half an inch) that allow for muscle pushing rather than having them detached from the bone.

Minimally invasive back surgery is a procedure that reduces lower back pain and stiffness by relieving pressure on the spine. Recovery time varies depending on the procedure but can generally range between 3-6 months. However, it’s essential to take care of yourself for a quick and easy recovery. Returning home after surgery is just the beginning of the recovery process. You’ll need physical therapy to help speed healing time and prevent future injuries by strengthening the back. Exercising and remaining active will also reduce your risk for future problems.

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