Spinal Surgery (Key Hole)

What Is Keyhole Spine Surgery?

The spine supports the body and helps to stand, sit, bend, move, and spin. The spine, which protects the spinal cord from injury, extends from the base of the skull to lower end of the back. It is shaped like an “S”. It has 33 bones interconnected to each other.

These vertebrae are numbered and divided into four areas: cervical vertebrae (near the neck), thoracic vertebrae (upper back), lumbar vertebrae (lower back), sacrum (extreme lower back – connecting the spine to the hip), and also the tailbone coccyx of the spine. Only 24 of these bones move because the sacrum and tailbone are fused.

As the world is progressing fast we are observing technological progress in all areas of life. Spinal surgery has also shifted from primary incision / open surgery to minimally invasive microscopic spinal surgery, endoscopic surgery and keyhole surgery.

This modality, when carefully chosen for the right patient, ensures excellent results and a shorter hospital stay, along with shorter rest periods and quick return to work.


Spine Related Problems

Spinal problems can occur due to injuries, tumor’s, infections, vertebral dislocation, and age-related issues such as intervertebral disc degeneration. Symptoms that indicate problems with your spine include constant back pain (up / down), neck pain, numbness in the legs and arms, and difficulty sitting, standing, or walking.


Surgical Treatment of spinal aliments

Spine surgery is divided into two types-  conventional or open surgery and keyhole/ minimum access surgery to the spine. Certain spinal conditions such as intervertebral discs (compression) and tumor’s can be treated with keyhole spinal surgery or minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS).


What Is Meant By Keyhole Or Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery?

As the name suggests, this procedure is a very advanced form of spinal surgery that only requires tiny incisions, so there is only minimal damage to healthy tissue and thus faster recovery after surgery.

Minimally invasive spine surgery is performed using a particular surgical instrument called a tubular retractor. In certain situations, Special  Microlumbar retractors are used. Doctors insert these instruments through small incisions directly into the spine and tunnel-like opening to the area that needs to be treated. Tubular retractors keep the muscles open and hold throughout the procedure. It ensures that blood loss and damage to muscles, ligaments and bones are minimal compared to open surgery.



Minimally invasive spinal surgery is performed using a tiny incision. This small incision used to send segmental tubular retractors and dilator to pull the muscle away from the operating area and make the affected area of ​​the spine accessible. It minimizes damage to muscles and soft tissue and reduces blood loss during surgery.

An endoscope, a thin telescopic instrument with a video camera at the end, is inserted through a small hole to provide an image on the monitors of operating area in the operating room. Some surgeons use  Surgical microscope instead of the endoscope to achieve the same results. In these procedures, special mini surgical instruments sent through a working channel that functions to perform the surgery. After the procedure is complete, the tissue gets replaced after the removal of various instruments. The incision is then stitched and closed with sterile surgical gauze.

Spinal Conditions Treated Using Keyhole Procedure

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Herniated disc or Ruptured disc
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Some Spinal infections
  • Spinal instability including spondylolisthesis
  • Vertebral compression fractures
  •  Some Spinal tumor’s

Advantages Of Keyhole Spine Surgeries

  • Minimal hospital stays maybe 1 or 2 days after the surgery
  • Faster return to a healthy life
  • Tiny surgical incisions
  • Minimal blood loss
  • Lesser tissue/ muscle damage
  • Fewer post-surgical complications including infections
  • Lower incidence of surgery-related back pain
  • Lesser pain
  • Minimal pain killers
  • Quicker recovery


The doctor can determine which keyhole surgery, if any, can be an option for treating spinal disease. In some situations, keyhole operations may not be as safe or effective as traditional open operations. In this case, a doctor can tell you about the relative risks and benefits. Besides, several conditions cannot get treated with keyhole surgery.

Performing keyhole spinal surgery requires advanced surgical skills and specialized training based on the latest technology.