The METRx® System and Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

The minimally invasive revolution has impacted virtually every surgical field, and spinal surgery is no different.

Unlike traditional “open” surgeries, minimally invasive spine surgery offers a small incision, muscle dilation (separating rather than cutting muscles), and the use of microsurgical and image guided technologies to access, view, and repair spinal damage.

About the METRx System

The METRx® System is an innovative series of dilators and tubes designed to be used during minimally invasive surgery. Using the METRx System, a surgeon can minimize the amount of muscle damage that is necessary in order to be able to see and remove herniated disc/fragments while protecting the nerve roots and spinal cord.

The METRx System can be used for many minimally invasive spinal procedures including laminotomy, laminectomy, and discectomy.

What to Expect 

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To perform a minimally invasive procedure using the METRx System, the surgeon will make a small (less than 1 inch) incision in the patient’s back. Then, he or she will insert a series of progressively larger dilators, one around the other, to gradually separate the muscles and create a "tunnel" or portal through which the surgery may be performed. Once the procedure is complete, the surgeon will remove the tube. The incision will be closed with a few stitches and covered with an adhesive bandage.

Potential Risks

The METRx System is designed to enable visualization of the surgical field during a procedure. The potential risks associated with the use of the METRx System include, but are not limited to, transitioning to conventional open procedure, neurological damage, damage to the surrounding soft tissue, and instrument malfunction, such as bending, fragmentation, loosening, and/or breakage (whole or partial).

Breakage of the tip in the patient may increase surgical time. The surgery also may not be effective. Similar risks are associated with system use in other parts of the body.