6 Things You Need to Know About Endoscopic Spine Surgery

October 7, 2014

If you or your loved one is considering back surgery to treat back pain, you probably have heard about endoscopic spine surgery. But what is endoscopic spine surgery? And what’s the difference between endoscopic spine surgery and conventional spine surgery, or back surgery?

What is endoscopic spine surgery?

1: Endoscopic spine surgery is the newest type of spine surgery. It uses advanced surgical tools and powerful magnifying systems. For traditional back surgery (also known as open spine surgery or open back surgery), the surgeon needs to cut open the back muscle before operating on the spine. But for endoscopic spine surgery, the surgeon does not need to cut open the back. Instead, endoscopic spine surgeon only needs to insert advanced surgical instrument through a small skin incision. With the assistance of an advanced endoscope and x-ray guidance, the surgeon can easily identify the problem (eg, disc herniation or bone spur) and perform the surgery accordingly.

2: Compared with traditional spine surgery, endoscopic spine surgery offers many advantages, including minimally invasive, small skin incision, minimal tissue damage, minimal to no blood loss, high efficiency, low complication rates, and quick recovery. Most of the endoscopic spine surgeries can be done at an outpatient setting and do not require a hospital stay.

Is endoscopic spine surgery for me?

3: Endoscopic spine surgery is a great surgical option for many spinal conditions. But it is not for every patient. And currently not all spine surgery procedures can be done endoscopically.

4: Studies have proved that endoscopic spine surgery is safe and effective when used to treat disc herniations, spinal stenosis, failed back surgery syndrome, and a number of other spinal conditions. But for spine conditions involving spine instability such as spondylolisthesis, the problems are difficult to solve using endoscopic spine surgery. In addition, surgical procedures involving spinal fusion and fixation currently cannot be done endoscopically.

5: To determine whether or not endoscopic spine surgery is right for you, the key is to find out the exact cause of your back pain. Is it caused by a disc herniation, a bone spur, degenerative disease, or spondylolisthesis? It is almost impossible for you to figure out the exact cause of you pain on your own. So if you have persistent or acute back pain, make sure you talk to your doctor and have some tests done. Physical examination and imaging tests such as MRI are generally needed for an accurate diagnosis. Once you have an accurate diagnosis, you’ll have a better idea regarding whether or not endoscopic spine surgery is right for you.

6: If you think endoscopic spine surgery may be a right option for you, make sure you find an experienced endoscopic spine surgery to perform the surgery. Because of its many advantages, endoscopic spine surgery has gained great popularity in recent years. But to achieve a high success rate, the surgeon needs special training and tremendous hands-on experience. Because endoscopic spine surgery is still relatively new, not so many spine surgeons have mastered the technique. So before you make your final decision, ask the surgeon how many cases of endoscopic surgery he or she has performed, and what his or her success rates are.

Located in Edison, New Jersey, Atlantic Spinal Care (ASC) is a leading surgical center in the field of endoscopic spine surgery. At ASC, the surgeons perform endoscopic spine surgery on a daily basis. In the past few years, they have helped thousands of patients to relieve back and neck pain. To find out more information about endoscopic spine surgery performed at ASC, visit hour frequently asked questions section.