Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

At Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Neuroscience Institute, you have access to neurosurgeons with experience and expertise in minimally invasive procedures that may lead to less pain and quicker recoveries.

AHN’s spine surgeons use cutting-edge, minimally invasive techniques to provide life-changing relief to patients affected by the debilitating symptoms of many neurological conditions. 

Conditions we treat with minimally invasive spine surgery

Minimally invasive surgical techniques help preserve spinal structures and function. We use this approach to treat many patients with cervical disk herniation, cervical stenosis, thoracic disk herniation, lumbar disk herniation, lumbar stenosis, spinal cord tumors, and other types of complex spine disease.

Types of minimally invasive spine surgeries

We’ll work with you to determine whether traditional spine surgery or a minimally invasive spine surgical option is best for your unique case. Either approach will be highly personalized to you. Take a look at a few of the surgeries and treatments we offer below. 

Extreme lateral interbody fusion (XLIF)

This minimally invasive approach is used to fuse two or more bones of the spine together. By operating laterally, through the side of the body, our surgeons don’t have to cut through the major muscles of the back or abdomen. This can result in shorter hospital stays, less time in surgery, and decreased pain.

Oblique lateral interbody fusion (OLIF)

With this approach, our neurosurgeon will access and repair the lower spine from the front and side of the body. OLIF is often used for herniated disks, fractures to vertebrae, and other spinal deformities or concerns.


Typically used for a herniated disk causing leg pain, a microdiscectomy relieves the pressure on a spinal nerve root by removing the material causing the pain. This technique may provide near immediate relief of sciatica from a lumbar herniated disk.

OsteoCool™ RF Ablation System

OsteoCool™ is a unique ablation technology technique that treats painful bone tumors, including benign and painful metastatic lesions. 

Mazor X Stealth™ Edition robotic spine surgery

Mazor X Stealth™ is a robotic system that helps surgeons perform more precise and effective procedures. This usually results in less pain and a faster recovery time. Learn more about Mazor X™ spine surgery


A minimally invasive spinal decompression surgery, microforaminotomy can help relieve nerve compression and alleviate neck or back pain. Unlike an “open” foraminotomy, this “micro” approach involves smaller incisions, less blood loss, reduced pain, and a faster recovery. 


This spinal decompression surgery involves completely removing the spinal column’s lamina — a thin plate of bone that covers and protects entry to the spinal cord. This can provide relief for pain in the neck or back that may travel into the arms or legs.


Designed to stop the pain caused by a spinal fracture or a compression fracture, kyphoplasty involves inserting a special balloon into the vertebrae and gently inflating it to return pieces to a more normal position. The surgeon will then fill the area with a special material that stabilizes the bone.

Cervical discectomy

During a minimally invasive discectomy, a portion or the entire herniated or degenerative disk is removed from the cervical spine — giving the patient relief. Unlike an open procedure, this approach allows for shorter recovery and surgical times and less recovery pain.

Endoscopic spine surgery

Using micro-sized incisions and a small tubular system in combination with an endoscope to see the area, endoscopic spine surgery treats a variety of spine conditions. In most cases, this approach can help preserve a patient’s normal range of spine mobility after surgery.

Minimally invasive spinal fusion

Spinal fusion involves permanently joining two or more bones of the spine together. This minimally invasive approach is used to treat several conditions, including degenerative disk disease, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, and breaks, infections, or tumors of the spinal column. 

Endoscopic Chiari decompression

Chiari malformation is when the brain tissue extends into your spinal canal. It occurs when part of your skull is abnormally small or misshapen, pressing on your brain and forcing it downward. This procedure removes bone at the back of the skull and spine to create space for the tonsils and brainstem. 

Endoscopic lumbar decompression

This procedure treats lumbar stenosis and is often performed as an outpatient surgery through a small incision and without a spinal fusion. This helps resolve pain, weakness, and numbness in the legs as well as cramping in the calves. 

Contact us

Call (412) 359-6200 to schedule an appointment or learn more about spine surgery options.