Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery

Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery

Medtronic’s comprehensive platform of minimally invasive spinal technologies enables surgeons to achieve the same surgical objectives as with a traditional, open procedure.

With more than a decade of experience in minimally invasive spine and a complete minimally invasive product portfolio, Medtronic remains on the forefront of minimally invasive spinal techniques.

About Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

More than a decade ago, Medtronic pioneered the minimally invasive spine surgery market with the groundbreaking Micro Endoscopic Discectomy (MED) System. MED became the first reproducible mechanism for minimally invasive access to the posterior lumbar and cervical spine. As surgical applications for this technology expanded, the MED system evolved into the Minimal Exposure Tubular Retractor (METRx®) system, laying the foundation for Medtronic’s robust minimally invasive platform today.

Several years later, in 2002, the first-generation CD Horizon® Sextant® System was launched, enabling the first reproducible percutaneous pedicle screw placement procedures and leaving an indelible mark on spinal fusion as we know it. 

Since then, Medtronic has remained on the forefront of minimally invasive spine surgery, with an innovative track record highlighted by the launches of the CD Horizon® Longitude® System, enabling percutaneous fixation over many levels, the CD Horizon® Legacy™ Percutaneous PEEK Rod System, and Direct Lateral Interbody Fusion (DLIF).

At Medtronic, we believe that spine surgery shouldn’t be “one size fits all.” With more than a decade of experience in the minimally invasive market, we have come to understand the challenges you face and strive to provide you with a broad portfolio of minimally invasive procedures, allowing you to choose the best procedure for each patient.

Medtronic’s minimally invasive spine platform enables a variety of cervical, thoracic, and lumbar procedures.

Decompression Procedures

  • Discectomy
  • Posterior cervical foraminotomy
  • Stenotic decompression

Stabilization Procedures

  • Minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF)
  • Minimally invasive posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF)
  • Direct lateral interbody fusion (DLIF) 
  • Percutaneous pedicle screw placement
  • Balloon Kyphoplasty

Important Safety Information

  • All treatment and outcome results are specific to the individual patient. Results may vary. Even though the surgery is minimally invasive, it’s important to remember that it is still spine surgery, and therefore not without risk. 
  • Complications such as infection, nerve damage, blood clots, blood loss and bowel and bladder problems, along with complications associated with anesthesia, are some of the potential risks of spinal surgery. A potential risk inherent to spinal fusion is failure of the vertebral bone and graft to properly fuse, a condition that may require additional surgery.
  • Federal law (USA) restricts these devices to sale by or on the order of a physician. For use on or by the order of a physician only. See package inserts for labeling warnings, precautions, and other important information.

How It’s Done

The objective of any minimally invasive procedure should be to accomplish the same clinical objectives as the traditional, open surgery while minimizing soft tissue retraction. Here at Medtronic, we don’t believe that minimally invasive surgery should be a compromise for you or your patients, so we have developed a comprehensive platform of products to ensure that you are well-equipped to handle each and every step of your chosen minimally invasive procedure. Our platform of enabling technologies is anchored by the O-arm® Multi-Dimensional Surgical Imaging System and the NIM-Eclipse® Spinal System.


  • After making a small incision, a series of soft-tissue dilators is used to create a pathway to the area of the spine to be treated.
  • A tubular retractor is placed over these dilators to the level of the spinal column and serves as the working portal. The “docking point” or tube placement will vary depending on the procedure. Medtronic offers a variety of minimally invasive retractor options, including the fixed METRx® tubular retractors or expandable MAST Quadrant™ retractor, which may be selected specifically for the procedure and patient anatomy.
  • Bayonetted and glare-resistant micro-instruments in the METRx® II System enable the surgeon to perform the discectomy and decompression procedural steps through the tubular retractor.


  • If the patient is indicated for a fusion procedure, specially designed disc preparation instruments in the Posterior Microscope Instrument Set facilitate disc removal and endplate preparation through the METRx® II tubular retractor.
  • The Capstone® PEEK Spinal System is designed to be used in either open or minimally invasive procedures.


  • Following interbody placement, the CD Horizon® Sextant® II Percutaneous Rod can be used to place pedicle screws and rods percutaneously.
Last updated: 14 May 2015

For Patients

Medtronic Spinal and Biologics

(800) 876-3133