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Minimally Invasive Decompression Surgery


Minimally invasive decompression surgery refers to a range of procedures, all of which are some form of spinal decompression surgery. These procedures are less invasive alternatives to traditional open back surgery and are used to treat back pain, leg pain, and other symptoms associated with a compressed nerve along the spinal cord.

The goal of any spinal decompression surgery is to relieve pressure on the affected nerve by removing whatever material is impinging the nerve, such as a bone spur or herniated disc. Minimally invasive spinal decompression techniques, such as MILD (Minimally invasive lumbar decompression are performed through a tiny incision and can relieve your pain quickly without disrupting your muscles and nerves. This allows you to recover and get back to your activities sooner.

If you’ve tried nonsurgical treatments for your pain and still haven’t found relief, our minimally invasive spinal decompression surgery can help you like it has helped thousands of others. Call Back Pain Centers of America (BPC) at [sc name=”patient_phone_number_dash”] today to learn more about your options.

Minimally invasive decompression surgery benefits for regaining mobility


There are many benefits to undergoing minimally invasive spinal decompression such as:

  • Immediate relief from localized and radiating pain
  • Less scarring and bleeding than other procedures
  • Short hospital stay with most patients able to go home the same day
  • Quick recovery and return to your activities
  • No need for general anesthesia depending on the procedure used, such as the MILD procedure

Conditions/Symptoms Treated

Spinal decompression surgery can be used to treat several conditions affecting any part of the spine, including:

Minimally invasive spinal decompression surgery offers patients quick relief of the symptoms caused by a compressed nerve, including:

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Pain that radiates to the shoulder, arm, buttock, and leg
  • Tingling, numbness, and weakness affecting the arms or legs


You will receive specific preparation instructions before your spinal decompression surgery. You may be asked to do the following before your procedure (consult with your doctor):

  • Stop smoking – Smoking slows your healing and contributes to the degeneration of the spine. You will need to stop smoking for a period before and after surgery.
  • Stop taking certain medications – Some medications and supplements increase the risk of bleeding and need to be avoided before any surgical procedure. You will be told by your doctor which of these to stop taking and for how long.
  • Fast for 6-12 hours – You will be told exactly how long before your procedure you need to stop eating and drinking.
  • Arrange a ride – Due to anesthesia medication, you likely will not be able to drive after your surgery and need to arrange to have someone take you home.

Failing to follow your preparation instructions may result in the postponement of your spinal decompression surgery.


Minimally invasive spinal decompression surgery is performed through a small incision measuring approximately 1-inch. Special imaging allows the surgeon to accurately insert a tube through the incision to perform the surgery. During spinal decompression surgery, the muscle and tissues are gently moved, rather than cut, so that the surgeon can access the affected part of your spine. The surgeon then removes a portion of the disc or bony material causing your symptoms, creating space around the affected nerve.

Once completed, the incision will be closed and you will be moved to the recovery room to be monitored for a few hours. The MILD procedure and many of the other minimally invasive decompression surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis so you can go home the same day.


The recovery process depends on which type of minimally invasive spinal decompression procedure you have. It is normal to experience some pain over the incision site, which is easily managed with pain medication and by applying ice. Physical therapy will likely be prescribed to help with your rehabilitation.

Your surgeon will let you know when you can return to work and other activities. Most patients can resume some light activity a few days after spinal decompression surgery and make a full recovery within six weeks.

If you’re tired of living with pain, call BPC at [sc name=”patient_phone_number_dash”] today. Our board-certified spine specialists have helped over 30,000 patients like you. The return to an active life is just a call away.

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© 2019 Back Pain Centers of America. Back Pain Centers of America does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Information on this website is not designed to replace a doctor's judgment or course of treatment. All physicians and practices operate independent of and are in no way owned or controlled by Back Pain Centers of America. Results and recovery times may vary. User Agreement and Privacy Policy.

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