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What is Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

Traditional, open spine surgery involves cutting muscles or reflecting them off the spine in order to perform surgery. Today, Dr. Stieber can often perform spinal surgery utilizing minimally-invasive surgical techniques. Treatment often involves small incisions and muscle dilation, allowing Dr. Stieber to gently separate the muscles surrounding the spine rather than cutting them. In other cases, muscles are avoided nearly altogether by employing techniques that utilize the body’s natural tissue planes. These minimally-invasive procedures typically permit enhanced cosmetic appearance of incisions, shorter hospital stays, and faster return to work and activity. Many of Dr. Stieber's procedures on minimally-invasive spine surgery in NYC are performed on an outpatient basis.

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery in New York: Equivalent to Traditional Procedures?

Minimally invasive spine surgery and advanced robotic guidance technology open up a whole new world of surgical precision. Due to these advances, minimally invasive surgery has the potential for more successful outcomes than was possible with traditional procedures.

Using robotic guidance has distinct benefits:

  • Less need for intra-op X-rays resulting in a 50-70% decrease in radiation exposure.
  • Allows surgeon to work in 3D rather than a flat X-ray image.
  • Eliminates the margin of error caused by the human hand.
  • Reduces procedure time.
  • Smaller incisions.
  • Minimal scarring.
  • Minimal tissue damage.
  • Shorter hospital stays.
  • Less post-operative pain.
  • Faster recovery time. On average, 27% less than traditional open surgery.
  • 99.7% accuracy rate for implants such as screws that must be precisely placed. Placement accuracy is about 1.5mm.
  • Reduced rate of nerve damage.
  • Requires a spinal surgeon who is already highly skilled and is now further empowered by technology that expands his/her skills beyond traditional methods.

Our Use of MIS

Are You a Candidate for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

Dr. Stieber will perform a thorough physical exam and review your medical history to establish your candidacy for minimally invasive spine surgery. This stage of your therapy is vital because there is often a range of non-surgical options to correct spinal conditions that may be an appropriate treatment. Dr. Stieber will always consider the simplest and most comfortable solutions before surgery is discussed as an option.

Not all surgical procedures can be done using minimally invasive procedures, but this list continues to shorten as the technology evolves. This advanced option is often performed to:

  • Decompress spinal nerves or the spinal cord itself.
  • Stabilize the spine.
  • Correct spinal deformity.
  • Treat herniated discs and stenosis.
  • Heal vertebral compression fractures.

What Conditions Can Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Treat?

Only Dr. Stieber can determine exactly if you are a candidate for this surgery. Generally, if your procedure is one of the following, minimally invasive surgical techniques may be right for you:

  • Discectomy. Removal of all or part of the disc.
  • Foraminotomy. Enlarging of the spinal nerve pathway.
  • Kyphoplasty. Stabilizing vertebral compression fractures.
  • Laminectomy. Removal of all or part of the arch of bone behind the vertebral body.
  • Laminotomy. Makes hole in the lamina for more space for the spinal cord.
  • Spinal fusion. Stabilizes the spine through bone grafts.
  • Vertebroplasty. Stabilizes vertebral compression fractures.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does Minimally Invasive Surgery Generally Cost?

As these surgeries are usually performed on an outpatient basis, the cost of treatment is far less than the cost of traditional surgery in which hospital stay is necessary. Every surgery performed is unique, based upon the condition of the individual patient, and cost varies. A consultation will reveal the extent of the surgery needed and the cost.

Is This Covered By Insurance?

If you are experiencing ongoing pain, discomfort, or limited motion, your health insurance is likely to cover some or all of the cost of our minimally-invasive spinal surgeries. Our administrative staff can assist you with your health insurance questions.

Can Minimally Invasive Surgery Address The Same Issues As Regular Spine Surgery?

Minimally invasive spine surgery can address most of the issues once treated strictly with traditional spine surgery. The use of advanced technologies, such as robotic guidance, allows for a high level of precision, smaller incisions, minimal tissue damage, and reduced risk of nerve damage.

The Hands Behind the Procedure: It Matters.

Robotics and other minimally invasive techniques that involve surgical machines and imaging do not do the surgery itself. They merely provide powerful tools for the surgeon to apply his knowledge and skills with the utmost precision. It is up to the surgeon to recognize and realize the potential of new technology in order to adopt a more efficient approach that requires less change to the body, such as spreading out of muscle tissue rather than cutting through it. It is in these technical advances where Dr. Stieber has demonstrated his leadership in the field. In fact, he has authored many papers on spinal surgery that are studied by medical students, residents and fellows. Our clinic is in the heart of Manhattan. Schedule a private consultation today.

Why Choose Dr. Stieber for Your Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

Minimally invasive spine surgery is a rapidly evolving field that can produce outcomes with less risk and downtime. Dr. Stieber has established a leadership position in this exciting evolution and is skilled and experienced in all phases of its use.


Our primary goal is to provide our patients with the very best spine care experience. Dr. Stieber is an innovator in the field and lectures on the topic of minimally-invasive spine surgery in New York. By incorporating the most current MIS techniques, Dr. Stieber is able to treat a wide range of spinal problems, restore functioning, and returning his patients to activity as soon as possible.

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

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