Leading Experts in Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery in California

Get An Appointment

Most people who are considering surgery would prefer a minimally invasive procedure but very few actually understand what this means. Minimally invasive spine surgery does not refer to a specific procedure. Rather, it is more properly described as a philosophy. In order to understand this approach, it’s important to understand the traditional method of spine surgery and compare it with this newer more effective method.

Older Traditional Spine Surgery…


Increased Recovery Time


Large Incisions (5 in+)


Higher Infection Risk

Longer Hospital Stay

When approaching surgery, the traditional technique was to make a large incision with wide exposure to allow for complete visualization of the anatomy. This way surgeons could be comfortable that they were operating in the right area and doing the right procedure. Unfortunately, this required large incisions extensive dissection and subsequently damage that issues. This increases recovery time increases the risk of infection increases surgical time ultimately this leads to increased length of stay in the hospital and increased risks of peri-operative complications.

Newer Minimally Invasive Surgery Today…

Quicker at-Home Recovery


Smaller Incision

Faster Surgery


Minimal Damage

As we have gained a better understanding of surgical anatomy and with greater availability of resources such as image guidance and improve surgical instruments such as arthroscopes and specialized retractors we have been able to greatly reduce the size of surgical incisions. ultimately the goal is to accomplish the same procedure with minimizing collateral damage. In this way a lumbar Fusion that traditionally would have been done with the 5 or 6 inch scission in a surgery that lasted 3 to 4 hours and may have had blood loss that was significant enough to require a transfusion, can now be done through 2 small incisions less than an inch in length with tissue spreading techniques that minimize muscle damage.

Minimally Invasive surgery can accomplish the same decompression and stabilization of the spine. In a skilled physician’s hands, the surgery will take less time than the old method of open procedure. Additional equipment and significant training and experience are required which is why true minimally invasive spine surgery continues to only be done by a few surgeons.

Recent Blogs on Minimally Invasive Treatments

Living with Chronic Pain: The Mind-Body Issue

Living with Chronic Pain: The Mind-Body Issue

Research shows that most chronic back pain is psychosomatic. This means that mental processes like depression, frustration, and attitude play a large role in the severity of your pain. This means that improving your mindset can help reduce your pain. You can try...

Living with Chronic Pain

Living with Chronic Pain

Chronic back pain and neck pain is defined as pain lasting longer than three to six months. It is the opposite of acute pain, which is temporary, specific, and treatable. While it can be difficult to accept you will never be fully cured of your pain, it's important to...

What Happens During a Microdiscectomy?

What Happens During a Microdiscectomy?

A Lumbar microdiscectomy is a surgery performed to remove a herniated disc or degenerative disc in the lower spine. The doctor makes an incision to remove the disc pressing on the nerves. There are five steps involved in a laminotomy discectomy. The operation will...

Pain in the Neck and Lower Back

Pain in the Neck and Lower Back

Since there are many potential causes of neck and back pain, it's important you seek medical attention. This is especially true if you have experienced any sort of injury or trauma to your neck that is causing your pain, your pain is severe and not improving after one...

Causes and Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis

Causes and Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis

The cause of your spinal stenosis influences your diagnosis and treatment options. In general, the cause of spinal stenosis can be categorized as either primary or acquired: Primary: Some people are simply born with a smaller spinal canal Acquired: You can also...

Causes and Symptoms of Scoliosis

Causes and Symptoms of Scoliosis

Doctors generally divide the causes of scoliosis into four categories: Idiopathic (unknown cause) is the most common type of scoliosis Congenital (at birth) Neuromuscular (such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy) Injuries to, previous surgery on, or infections of...

Western States Endurance Run: Dr. Diana Wins Silver

Western States Endurance Run: Dr. Diana Wins Silver

Our colleague at Napa Valley orthopaedic, Dr. John Diana, is not only a stellar orthopaedic surgeon, but also a very talented runner. We want to congratulate him on his recent silver win at the Western Endurance Run. He was featured in the Napa Register: "Before...

Treating Compression Fractures with Kyphoplasty

Treating Compression Fractures with Kyphoplasty

Photo courtesy of Summit Orthopedics A compression fracture is a break of a vertebra or bone in the spine, which commonly occurs in patients with osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition that lessens the density of bones, causing them to be weaker, which can then...

Suffering From a Herniated Disc?

Suffering From a Herniated Disc?

Photo courtesy of Teeter Lumbar disc herniation, or herniated disc, is when a piece of the disc - soft cartilage cushion that is between the vertebra or bones in the spine - bulges out of its disc space and into the spinal canal. Because of the limited space the...

"The BEST spine surgeon in the county!"

"My husband, Mom and I have been patients of Dr. Huffman’s for quite a number of years. The BEST spine surgeon in the county! He has operated on me twice in the past year with amazing results. Would highly recommend this gifted man."

- Vivian B., Facebook Review

"I wouldn't go anywhere else."

"I have been a patient of Dr Huffman's for many years, with some major back issues. The care I received (and still receive) is exemplary. Staff members Sarah and Dawn are amazing. I wouldn't go anywhere else."

- Deborah N., Facebook Review

"Brilliant, dedicated and really cares about his patients"

"Dr. Huffman is by far the best spine surgeon for so many reasons. I have worked for him, with him and been apart of his surgeries with assisted fluoroscopy. He is brilliant, dedicated and really cares about his patients. That said why would anyone go anywhere else. Did I mention he loves gummy bears, who doesn't love that."

- Sheila B., Facebook Review

Request An Appointment

Address: 3273 Claremont Way, Ste. 201, Napa, CA 94558
Phone: 707-603-1042