Spinal Fusion (Thorascopic Assisted)

Cause / Condition

There are numerous spinal afflictions that may or may not require this surgical intervention including degenerative disc disease, herniation, stenosis, osteoporosis, deformities, and fractures.

About the Procedure

The surgical approach to the thoracic spine is begun with multiple chest incisions by the cardiothoracic surgeon to allow the spinal specialist access to perform the fusion and/or insert fusion cages and/or allograft spacers.


The minimally invasive technique results in a shorter hospital stay and less postoperative pain and discomfort for the patient, including an improved cosmetic appearance. A faster recovery results in an overall faster resumption of work and normal activities.

Expectations / Experience

Patients can expect an overall faster resumption of work and normal activities as indicated in the comparative table. Thorascopically assisted spinal fusions are performed at Columbia St. Mary's Hospital Milwaukee.

Thorascopic techniques for minimally invasive spinal surgery have been developed under the multi-disciplinary team of Drs. Stephen E. Robbins and Robert P. McManus. In keeping with the progressive philosophy of MIMIS, outcome results have been reported by Dr. Robbins at both national and international medical conferences and through numerous lectures and programs.

Factor Traditional Laparoscopic
Hospital Stay 4-6 days 1-2 days
Pain during recovery Severe Moderate
Return to work timeframe 3 months 1-2 months
Cosmetic results 6-8" scar 2" scar


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