What Is Cervical Endoscopic Discectomy?
Cervical Endoscopic Discectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to remove herniated disc material that is causing pain the neck. This minimally invasive surgery requires only a small incision and does not involve bone removal. With the guidance of x-ray imaging and magnified video, the surgeon is able to precisely insert the surgical tools into the herniated disc space.
Advantages of Cervical Endoscopic Discectomy surgery are similar to those of endoscopic lumbar discectomy, and they include:
Small incision and minimal scar tissue formation
Reduced need for pain medication
Same day surgery with no hospitalization (outpatient procedure)
High success rate
Minimal blood loss
What Conditions Can Cervical Endoscopic Discectomy Surgery Treat?
Cervical disc bulge
Cervical disc tear
Cervical disc herniations
When Is Cervical Endoscopic Discectomy Recommended?
Endoscopic is generally recommended in the following situations.
Persistent headache, upper back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, arm pain, or tingling and numbness in upper extremities
Symptoms unresponsive to conservative treatments, such as anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments, and spinal steroid injections for 8-12 weeks
CT, discography, and MRI showing cervical disc bulge, tear, or herniation
How Is Cervical Endoscopic Discectomy Surgery Done?
Cervical endoscopic discectomy is generally done under general anesthesia. A small metal tube of about4 mmin diameter is inserted to the target cervical spine area with disc problems under X-ray guidance. The herniated disc can be found easily with a camera looking through the tube. Under the guidance of the x-ray fluoroscopy and magnified video, a large piece of herniated disc is pulled out with a grasper. A small disc bulge or annular tear is treated with a laser, which vaporizes disc material, kills pain nerves within the disc, and hardens the disc to prevent further leakage of disc material to the surrounding area. Finally, the tube is removed and the incision is closed with a stitch or two.
Upon completion, the patient is encouraged to walk around, and is free to leave the surgical center, with a companion, the same day. Then after a post-operative visit the following day with the surgeon, the patient can return home for a comfortable recovery.
Endoscope inserted, Disc is viewed on a video monitor Damaged disc material is removed Disc wall treated, Surrounding area inspected.