What Is Lumbar Endoscopic Discectomy?
Lumbar endoscopic discectomy is a surgical procedure used to remove damaged disc material that is causing pain in the lower back. Endoscopic discectomy is a modern technique that does not involve bone removal, muscle damage, or large skin incisions. Instead, our lumbar endoscopic discectomy involves the use of x-ray imaging and magnified video to guide an endoscopic probe into the herniated disc space.
Advantages of lumbar endoscopic discectomy surgery include the following:
Small incision and minimal scar tissue formation
Same-day surgery with no hospitalization (outpatient procedure)
High success rate
Preservation of spinal mobility
Minimal blood loss
What Conditions Can Lumbar Endoscopic Discectomy Surgery Treat?
Lumbar endoscopic discectomy can be used to treat a number of spinal conditions in the lumbar region of the spine, including:
When Is Lumbar Endoscopic Discectomy Recommended?
Lumbar endoscopic discectomy is recommended in the following situations.
Lower back pain or buttock pain with or without leg pain persists for more than 8-12 weeks.
The pain is unresponsive to conservative treatments, including physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic care, anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants, DRX non-surgical manipulations, manipulations under anesthesia, spinal injections, or if previous surgery has failed.
MRI, CT scan, and discography document lumbar disc problems such as disc annular tear, disc bulge, and disc herniations.
An electric nerve diagnostic test or EMG test demonstrates nerve root compression or irritation.
How Is Lumbar Endoscopic Discectomy Surgery Done?
With our lumbar endoscopic discectomy procedure, the patient is brought to the operative room, and intravenous sedation is administered. Under local anesthesia, a small metal tube, the size of a pencil, is inserted into the troublesome lumbar spine area under x-ray fluoroscopy guidance. This tube serves as a passage for the surgical tools so that the patient’s muscles do not have to be torn or cut, as what happens in open discectomy. Then, the annular tear, bulging disc, or herniated disc can be found easily with a tiny camera (endoscope) looking through the tube. Under the guidance of the x-ray fluoroscopy and magnified video, a large piece of the herniated disc is pulled out with a grasper. A small disc bulge or annular tear can be treated with a laser, which vaporizes disc material, kills pain nerves inside the disc, and hardens the disc to prevent further leakage of disc material to the surrounding nerves. Finally, the tube is removed and the incision is closed with a stitch or two.
Endoscope inserted, Disc is viewed on a video monitor Damaged disc material is removed Disc wall treated, Surrounding area inspected
Upon completion, the patient is encouraged to walk around and is free to leave the surgical center with a companion the same day.