Endoscopic Spine Surgery is minimally invasive spine surgery used in the treatment of back pain, leg pain, numbness and weakness, bone spurs, bulging discs, stenosis, herniated disc, facet joint disease, sciatica, scoliosis, spondylolisthesis and more.
The surgery is done through a tube in between back muscles to decrease muscle damage and weakness caused by muscle retraction.
This procedure allows a tube the size of a pencil to be inserted into the spine through an incision approximately 7mm in size. The muscles are not cut or torn but pushed to the side to allow this small tube to enter the spine. From there we use a very small high definition camera to see the spine anatomy to remove a disk herniation, bone spurs, thickened ligament and cut dorsal medial branch nerves under direct view. Most patients will have immediate pain relief.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the advantages of this type of procedure?
Advantages of our industry leading minimally invasive endoscopic and fusion alternative surgeries include the following:
- Microscopic incision
- Minimal or no blood loss
- Immediate recovery
- Reduced pain meds
- Preservation of spinal mobility
- Mostly local anesthesia
- Same day surgery
- Improved quality of life
- No removal of muscle or bone
How is endoscopic laser spine surgery different then minimally invasive surgery?
Endoscopic spine surgery is what most spine surgeons would consider the ultimate method of minimally invasive spine surgery. A camera is inserted through a very small incision to the damaged area of the spine. The camera projects the images onto a video screen so the surgeon can easily visualize the pathology. Tiny instruments are inserted through the camera to repair the spine under direct visualization. The media often emphasizes lasers but they are only one of many endoscopic instruments.
Why is endoscopic spine surgery better than traditional surgery?
Traditional surgery is more destructive in its approach to the spine for the problem being treated. The larger the incision the more damage to muscle, ligaments and bone. This collateral tissue damage may result in more pain, back muscle weakness (erector spinae), instability and scar tissue leading to future difficulties.
Endoscopic spine surgery is extremely minimally invasive, even for minimally invasive spine surgery. The incision is very small, often less than 1 cm in size. There is minimal damage to skin, muscle, ligaments and bone. No general anesthesia is required decreasing medical risks and improving access to surgery for high-risk patients. There is very little blood loss. These benefits result in less post-operative pain and quicker recovery.
What types of conditions can endoscopic spine surgery treat?
Treatment is effective for conditions that cause back pain, leg pain, numbness and weakness, such as bone spurs, bulging discs, herniated disc, facet joint disease, sciatica, scoliosis, spondylolisthesis, stenosis and others. Due to the many advantages of endoscopic spine surgery it should be always considered, but currently it is not a replacement for all spine surgeries. The indications are rapidly increasing with the advancement of surgical techniques and equipment.
Can it help everyone?
Not everyone can be helped with endoscopic spine surgery. Certain conditions still require a minimally invasive open approach. Endoscopic spine surgery is the next advance in the treatment of spinal disorders. Our physician at The Minnesota Spine Institute can help identify if this procedure is right for you.