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Everything you need to know about Endoscopic Spine Surgery

Surgeon performs endoscopic microdiscectomy of herniated intervertebral disc.
Published by Dr. Umesh Srikantha on May 29, 2024

Endoscopic Spine Surgery – A Groundbreaking Step in Spinal Care

Endoscopic spine surgery is at the cutting edge of advanced spinal care, offering a forward-thinking choice in treating back issues. This approach is reshaping the way health experts tackle challenging spine problems. It uses small-scale, less invasive methods that lead to swift healing, fewer complications after surgery, and tiny scars.

Adopting techniques like Interlaminar Endoscopic Discectomy or Transforaminal Endoscopic Lumbar Discectomy could significantly improve your range of motion and relieve pain.

Key Advantages of Endoscopic Spine Surgery

Endoscopic Spine Surgery (ESS) shines as a ray of hope for those with spine issues, bringing many pluses that traditional spine surgery can’t match. Let us explore the pluses that make ESS the go-to for many patients and doctors:

  • Its small-scale approach, using a tiny incision, often under an inch, lessens tissue damage, causing less pain and scarring.
  • ESS stands for quicker healing times, allowing patients to return home earlier and return to their usual tasks much faster than traditional surgery styles.
  • The small-scale nature of the surgery usually results in less pain after surgery, which means less need for pain medications.
  • ESS keeps the spine’s structure more intact after surgery.
  • The use of precise tools and sharp images lets doctors treat spine problems with little impact on the patient's body.

Now that we have covered the main advantages, let's examine the surgery that makes these benefits possible more closely.

Endoscopic Spine Surgery: Procedure and Technological Innovations

Endoscopic spine surgery represents a cutting-edge technique in minimally invasive spine surgery. This procedure is conducted through a small incision, using an endoscope to visualise and access the spinal area. It stands out as the least invasive method of performing spine surgery, ensuring minimal harm to the spine's typical structures that are not impacted by the disease.

Lumbar discectomy is a surgical procedure that removes a herniated or prolapsed disc that compresses the nerve root, causing leg pain commonly referred to as sciatica. This relieves nerve compression. The procedure can be performed using either the open (conventional) technique or minimally invasive methods such as Tubular or endoscopic approaches.

Several techniques exist for minimally invasive lumbar discectomy. When the procedure is carried out with the help of a Tubular retractor, it is known as 'Tube Assisted Minimally Invasive Lumbar Discectomy'. Alternatively, when an endoscope is used for the procedure, it is called 'Endoscopic Discectomy.'

IELD, or Interlaminar Endoscopic Lumbar Discectomy, is a specific approach to endoscopic discectomy conducted through the interlaminar window at the back of the spine. This technique involves using an access port, known as an obturator, and an endoscope equipped with a working channel. This channel allows surgical instruments to pass through and perform the procedure. The diameter of the entire port is 9 mm.

TELD, or Transforaminal Endoscopic Lumbar Discectomy, is an endoscopic discectomy characterised as a percutaneous procedure. It is performed from the side of the spine (flank) using an endoscope that accesses the herniated disc through a natural opening in the spine known as the intervertebral foramen. Similar to other endoscopic spine surgeries, TELD utilises an access port, or obturator, equipped with an endoscope that features a working channel. This channel allows surgical instruments to be passed through, facilitating the surgical process. The entire diameter of the port is 9 mm.

Also read: A Comprehensive Guide to Types of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Conditions Effectively Treated by Endoscopic Spine Surgery

Endoscopic Spine Surgery (ESS) has been shown to work well for various spine issues, notably:

Herniated Discs ESS can take out the bulging disc part, often easing nerve pressure and lessening pain.
Degenerative Disc Disease ESS gives a less invasive way to reduce symptoms by removing the damaged disc tissue, thus reducing swelling and instability in the spine.
Spinal Stenosis With the narrowing of the spinal canal, ESS can make more room for the nerves, giving great relief from pain and better mobility for patients.

Knowing which problems ESS can treat is vital when comparing it to other surgery types and judging its success.

Comparing Endoscopic Spine Surgery with Other Surgical Methods

After surgery, most patients experience less pain, which could reduce the need for pain medication. However, Endoscopic Spine Surgery (ESS) is not the ideal solution for all spine problems.

Conditions such as scoliosis, high-grade spondylolisthesis, or severe spine instability may require a more traditional approach. The choice of surgery should be based on your specific condition and the advantages and disadvantages of each surgical method.

Understanding the Risks and Potential Complications of Endoscopic Spine Surgery

While ESS has several benefits, it is key to know the possible risks and problems.

  • Infection is a risk, although the small incision minimises it.
  • Bleeding and nerve damage, which can lead to sensory and movement issues.
  • Bruises, swelling, or pain at the incision site, which are usually part of healing.
  • Temporary numbness or tingling in the limbs that may fade over time.

It is vital to discuss all possible risks and problems in detail with your doctor before proceeding with ESS. This ensures that you proceed with the surgery with full knowledge. By gaining clear information, you can make choices that fit your health aims.

With proper care and watchfulness, patients can expect a fast and successful recovery, making the most of ESS to better their life quality.

Recovery and Postoperative Care After Endoscopic Spine Surgery

After your ESS, the healing time is typically much shorter than that of conventional spine surgeries. Thanks to the small-scale nature of the technique, you can also start driving again in two days and return to your regular tasks within two weeks.

The small incision used in ESS, usually under an inch, reduces tissue damage and leads to less scarring and quicker healing. For a smooth recovery, patients should take medications as prescribed, go for checkups, and follow physical therapy as recommended.

Paving the Way for Enhanced Spinal Health with Endoscopic Spine Surgery

Endoscopic spine surgery is a groundbreaking option in spine care tailored to your needs. This advanced method minimises surgery-related risks, promotes faster healing, and sets new standards for long-term health outcomes.

With Spine 360's committed spine doctor and team by your side, you are assured top-notch care for your spine concerns. Let's partner together to pave the way for a future of successful spine treatment that revolves around your satisfaction and well-being.

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