One of the many minimally invasive keyhole procedures designed to provide spinal relief and pioneered by Inspired Spine, the MIS-DTIF stands for minimally invasive keyhole spine direct thoracic interbody fusion. This procedure is an updated version of traditional, invasive surgeries that can treat mid-back pain. It will produce similar results with a fraction of the risk and healing time.


Pain in the mid-back can become expensive to treat and lead to a restriction in the activities you are able to perform. To make matters worse, when patients require a spinal fusion within the thoracic spine, they usually also need a thoracotomy, which comes with its own set of potential complications.


Who MIS-DTIF Helps


MIS-DTIF helps patients with a range of problems focused on their mid-back or thoracic area. It is an excellent option for those whose pain is from degenerative disk disease, when the disks between vertebrae degenerate from injuries or daily stress. Those with pain from herniated disks will also benefit; that condition occurs when the central area of the disk bulges out, leading to either nerve compression or inflammation and related pain. Following the MIS-DTIF, patients experience significant pain relief.


The Advantages of MIS-DTIF


Because of its nature, the MIS-DTIF procedure comes with all the benefits associated with other minimally invasive keyhole surgeries. The time spent on the operating table is decreased, reducing the time spent for both patient and doctor and the risk of the surgeon becoming tired during the procedure. In fact, MIS-DTIF can be done by just one surgeon while traditional treatments for this area require a minimum of two surgeons. Surgeons will also find the procedure to be more straightforward once they become familiar with it.


Between the shorter operating time, smaller incision, and less invasive nature of the procedure, there is also a significant decrease in blood loss. The smaller incision and other factors also reduce the risk of infection. The patient also enjoys a decreased recovery time, sometimes a matter of hours instead of days, and a shorter hospital stay. That decreased hospital stay can not only save you time by allowing you to return to work and other normal activities but also reduce the cost associated with the procedure, a major factor considering how expensive hospital stays can be.


One of a Kind


The MIS-DTIF is actually the only minimally invasive keyhole thoracic spinal surgery that does not involve any dissection nor any anatomical disruption to rib anatomy. Most thoracic spinal fusion surgeries will require the patient to have a minimum of one rib permanently removed. However, this is not necessary for the MIS-DTIF.


Created for the Thoracic Spine


Because of the unique set of challenges faced by surgeons performing fusions on the thoracic spine, the MIS-DTIF was developed to counter these challenges. It provides the numerous advantages mentioned above over traditional surgeries to treat this area.


To get a better idea of the structure of the thoracic spine, consider that the spine in total has 33 vertebrae. Seven of these are the cervical vertebrae in the neck, and right below these are the 12 thoracic vertebrae found in the mid-back. Below these sit the five lumbar vertebrae of the lower back, the five fused vertebrae of the sacrum, and the four fused vertebrae of the coccyx or tailbone. While some aspects of the MIS-DTIF are similar to other minimally invasive keyhole procedures to fuse other vertebrae, this procedure specifically targets the mid-back and the challenges related to operating there.


What Happens During MIS-DTIF


During MIS-DTIF, the patient lies in a prone position, and there is no need to adjust positions. The surgeon makes a small incision to remove the damaged disk and replaces it with a biocompatible polymer implant and bone graft material. The implant ensures the vertebrae keeps the proper spacing during fusion. In most cases, the patient will also have a posterior fixation, along with facet or pedicle screws. During recovery, the patient’s body will produce new bone mass that fuses the adjacent vertebrae.


Backed by Research


As with any other medical procedure that is performed on patients, the MIS-DTIF has been supported by scientific research in the form of clinical studies. Researchers found that the surgical time is significantly less than that of other comparable thoracic spine procedures. The hospital stay was also reduced by a sizable amount, with no patient requiring more than three days in the hospital. The complication rate is even lower, as is the cost. All of this has been backed by research.


In the best-case scenario, the MIS-DTIF will only take 45 minutes of surgery to complete, and the patient will be able to leave the hospital without staying overnight. They will then return to their normal daily lives in just a fraction of the time it would take to recover from other fusion surgeries.