Since traditional times, spine surgery uses invasive treatment procedures. These techniques often tend to damage the nearby tissues and ligaments. The discomfort after surgery also lasts for a long time. To avoid this, new techniques are been established which are less invasive. One such procedure is endoscopic spine surgery. This surgery makes use of a thin endoscope for clear view of the internal portions of body. The endoscopic spine surgery also enables shorter hospital stay and fast recovery.
Prior to the surgery, local anesthesia is administered to the patient to numb the spine area. A small needle is then injected into the disc space. A tiny key hole cut is then made in the middle of the spine. A tube is then inserted through the incision to access the damaged disc. The muscle and tissues in the path to disc are dilated. Endoscope is injected into the tube to the disc. Surgical instruments are placed at one end of the endoscope. These instruments are used to move the damaged disc out. A laser is also used to remove any remaining part of disc. This decompresses the disc and hence the outer-layers of disc are tightened. Upon the completion of surgery, the tube is removed. The incision is then closed using small bandages. The surgery takes about 1 hour to complete.
A one night stay in hospital is required for post-surgery observation. After discharge, regular round-ups to hospital is essential until recovery. Use of proper medications and cold therapy enables fast healing of the wound. Simple exercises such as walking should be included in the recovery plan. These exercises help to regain the mobility and flexibility of spine. It may take about 1-2 months for spine to completely recover.
The risk included in endoscopic spine surgery are:
- Difficulty in spine movement
- Disc dislocation
- Excessive bleeding
- Reaction to anesthesia