Comparison of Patient Preference, Understanding, and Sentiment for Minimally Invasive Versus Open Spine Surgery

Christopher A. White, Akshar V. Patel, Liam R. Butler, Uchechukwu O. Amakiri, Brandon J. Yeshoua, Jeremy M. Steinberger, Samuel K. Cho, Jun S. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Study Design. Retrospective questionnaire analysis. Objective. The goal of this study was to analyze patients' understanding and preferences for minimally invasive spine (MIS) versus open spine surgery. Summary of Background Data. MIS surgery is increasing in prevalence. However, there is insufficient literature to evaluate how the availability of MIS surgery influences the patients' decision-making process and perceptions of spine procedures. Methods. A survey was administered to patients who received a microdiscectomy or transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion between 2016 and 2020. All eligible patients were stratified into two cohorts based on the use of minimally invasive techniques. Each cohort was administered a survey that evaluated patient preferences, perceptions, and understanding of their surgery. Results. One hundred fifty two patients completed surveys (MIS: 88, Open: 64). There was no difference in time from surgery to survey (MIS: 2.1 ± 1.4 yrs, Open: 1.9 ± 1.4 yrs; P = 0.36) or sex (MIS: 56.8% male, Open: 53.1% male; P = 0.65). The MIS group was younger (MIS: 53.0 ± 16.9 yrs, Open: 58.2 ± 14.6 yrs; P = 0.05). More MIS patients reported that their technique influenced their surgeon choice (MIS: 64.0%, Open: 37.5%; P < 0.00001) and increased their preoperative confidence (MIS: 77.9%, Open: 38.1%; P < 0.00001). There was a trend towards the MIS group being less informed about the intraoperative specifics of their technique (MIS: 35.2%, Open: 23.4%; P = 0.12). More of the MIS cohort reported perceived advantages to their surgical technique (MIS: 98.8%, Open: 69.4%; P<0.00001) and less reported disadvantages (MIS: 12.9%, Open: 68.8%; P<0.00001). 98.9% and 87.1% of the MIS and open surgery cohorts reported a preference for MIS surgery in the future. Conclusion. Patients who received a MIS approach more frequently sought out their surgeons, were more confident in their procedure, and reported less perceived disadvantages following their surgery compared with the open surgery cohort. Both cohorts would prefer MIS surgery in the future. Overall, patients have positive perceptions of MIS surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-316
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - 15 Feb 2022


  • Microdiscectomy
  • Minimally invasive
  • Open surgery
  • Operative confidence
  • Patient perceptions
  • Spine
  • Surgeon choice
  • Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion


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