Jason M. Gallina MD PC

Specialist in artificial disc replacement, non-fusion surgery and minimally invasive surgery

820 2nd Avenue, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10017
541 Cedar Hill Avenue
Wyckoff, NJ 07481
Phone: 212-616-4130 | Fax: 212-983-0483

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery - Surgical spinal treatment options

What is minimally invasive spine surgery (keyhole surgery)?

Minimally invasive spine surgery or "keyhole surgery," is revolutionizing spinal surgery. Years ago, traditional or open spine surgery required long back incisions. Since muscles were cut and separated from the spine, open surgery produced increased pain and a longer recovery time.

Minimally invasive spine surgery, however, is performed through small incisions, in which tiny instruments are guided by specialized navigational instruments like interoperative x-rays, tubular retractors, and operative microscopes.

After the procedures, the smaller incisions are closed, and within months are barely visible. As with traditional or open surgery, the goal of minimally invasive spine surgery is to relieve back and leg pain, but with as little muscle and tissue damage as possible.

Advantages of minimally invasive spinal surgery :

  • Less muscle stripping/tissue injury
  • Less blood loss
  • Several small scars vs. one large scar
  • Shorter hospital stay - several days vs. one week
  • Less post-operative pain
  • Faster rehabilitation/recovery time - several months vs. year
  • More rapid return to daily activities
  • More rapid return to work
  • Less loss of work related income


Minimally invasive spine surgery is not suitable for all forms of spinal surgery, nor for all patients. Each patient must be individually evaluated by his/her doctor. All treatment options should be explored with Dr. Gallina.


The safety and risk profile for minimally invasive spine surgery is the same for any surgical procedure.

Posterior Lumbar Intervertebral Fusion - PLIF:

During minimally invasive posterior lumbar intervertebral fusion (PLIF), a bone graft is inserted between adjacent vertebrae from the back, and the vertebrae are held in a stable position by spinal instruments, like screws and rods, while the bone heals. Patients with a variety of conditions that produce spinal instability and pain are possible candidates for PLIF. Dr. Gallina does utilize minimally invasive techniques and technologies that can help to reduce post-operative pain, minimize blood loss and foster faster recovery.

Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion - TLIF:

During minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion, a bone graft is inserted between adjacent vertebrae from the side, thereby reducing nerve root irritation, as compared to PLIF. Both PLIF and TLIF can be utilized to treat nerve compression and low back pain associated with degenerative disc disease and spondylolisthesis.


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