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Endoscopic Decompression

Endoscopic Decompression

An endoscopic micro-invasive decompression is the least invasive technique that allows direct visualization of the disc and the nerves. This procedure is used for decompressing nerve roots damaged by narrowing of the spinal canal and foramens caused by bulging disc, herniated discs, facet arthritis, bone spur, scoliosis, and spondylolisthesis

It is usually indicated in patients with neurological symptoms such as radiating pain down the legs, tingling, numbness, weakness, difficulty breathing, and in some cases bowel/bladder problems. Most of our patients have not found adequate relief with non-surgical modalities including but not limited to pain management injections or conservative treatments. This procedure can also help in relieving pain associated with spinal stenosis and low back arthritis.

What is an endoscopic decompression?

An endoscopic decompression is the least invasive surgery that allows the surgeon to decompress the spinal nerves in the spinal canal with less than 1 cam incision. The surgery is utilizing endoscope, real time EMG, real time radiographic images so the surgery is very safe and effective

Many patients who suffer from sciatica, referred pain down either legs, and/or low back pain may be a candidate for this procedure. This procedure can also help in relieving pain associated with spinal stenosis and low back arthritis.

Benefits associated with a Micro-invasive endoscopic decompression

  • Least invasive technique – less trauma to muscles and soft tissue than with traditional open surgery
  • Fast recovery time
  • Minimal pain or discomfort following the surgery
  • Immediate leg pain relief in most cases
  • Fewer complications and risks than open spine surgery
  • Small incision and minimal scar tissue
  • High success rate and sustained success of the therapy
  • No or minimal blood loss
  • No hardware placement or loss of mobility

What are the indications for an endoscopic micro-invasive decompression?

  • Stenosis resulting in narrowing of the spinal canal
  • Bulging disc, herniated discs, facet arthritis, bone spur, scoliosis, and spondylolisthesis resulting in stenosis or narrowing of the spinal canal
  • Severe back pain, leg pain, or neurological symptoms
  • Failure of conservative treatments

What are the details of the endoscopic micro-invasive decompression surgery?

Micro-invasive, endoscopic decompression requires a small incision, usually no larger than 1 cm, and x-rays to gain access to the lumbar spine.

Under x-ray guidance, a series of muscle dilators are used to stretch soft tissue, instead of cutting muscles, and create a path for the endoscope. Special instruments can also be used to shave down arthritic bone that compressed the nerves in spinal canal. The goal is to free up the nerves in the spinal canal. The surgery will be done under general anesthesia. The surgery takes about 2-3 hours depending on the severity of the problem, co-morbidities of the patient, and patient’s body habitus.

Unlike traditional open surgery, in which muscles, ligaments, and even and bones might be severed to reach the specified area; endoscopic microdiscectomy uses an endoscope, or small camera, to magnify the area where the microdiscectomy will be performed. Through the use of this technique only a small portion of the herniated disc that is compressing the spinal nerve needs to be removed.

What to expect after the procedure?

While this is an outpatient surgery, we do recommend resting for a prescribed period postoperative and then gradually increasing activity levels with instruction and supervision by your providers. You will also be advised to wear a back brace for added support during the healing process.