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Endoscopic Spine Surgery


The Endoscopic Spine Surgery is a type of extremely minimally invasive spine surgery that is used for treating leg and back pain, stenosis, bulging discs, bone spurs, herniated discs, weakness or numbness, sciatica, facet joint disease, spondylolisthesis, scoliosis among others. The skin incision made in the surgery is less than an inch. Not only that, the surgery proceeds through a tube through the back muscles which minimises damage caused by muscle retraction.
It is not the same as microsurgery, which refers to the use of microscopes in the process.

How does the surgery proceed?

The tube used in the process is about the size of a pencil and is entered through a 7 mm incision. A small high definition camera is used to look at the anatomy of the spine and operate the bone spurs, remove the disk herniation, treat thickened ligaments or cut the dorsal medial branch nerves. Immediate pain relief is offered to most of the patients. In this procedure, an advantage is taken of an opening in the side of the spine, known as neuroforamen. The opening is enlarged by a few millimetres to make proper room for the nerve. The ruptured discs are removed without injuring or removing the muscles, improving recovery.

How is endoscopic surgery better than most other processes?

Most spine surgeons consider that the endoscopic spine surgery is the ultimate minimally invasive spine surgery. The camera is pushed to the damaged area of the spine through a very small incision, projecting images on the screen to repair the spine.

Traditional surgical techniques are much more destructive. The larger incisions cause more damage to the ligaments, bones and muscles. The collateral tissue damage results in weakness of the back muscles and much more pain. Scar tissues and instability can result as well. General anaesthesia is not required, which improves the chances for high-risk patients. The loss of blood is also minimised.

What are the conditions where endoscopic spine surgery can benefit?

The endoscopic spine surgery can be performed in the cases involving herniated and bulging discs, leg or back pain, weakness or numbness, facet joint disease, scoliosis, sciatica, stenosis, bone spurs, spondylolisthesis and others. Since the surgery can be very advantageous, it is considered in many cases, though it cannot replace all the surgeries.

How does it help people?

The traditional surgical methods require a direct vision with the microscope or the eyes. However, the endoscope camera would offer visuals that aren't available otherwise. It offers visibility through the nerve root foramen or around the corners. The greater visibility ensures that damages can be minimised. Thus, spinal disorders can be treated that are outside the scope of the traditional surgeries.

Who are applicable for the endoscopic spine surgery?

Not everyone can be benefited with this surgical procedure. Minimally invasive open procedures are still required for certain conditions.

The problem is that often insurance companies do not cover the cost of the instruments that are required in this sophisticated procedure. However, the endoscopic spinal surgery helps people by improving the recovery period and minimising the damage. The procedure requires certain skills that can be performed only the most accomplished surgeons.

Authored by Dr. Shyam Sundar K

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Dr. Shyam Sundar K

Dr. Shyam Sundar K is an eminent name in the field of neurology. He is one of the best neurosurgeon in Chennai, Tamil Nadu

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