Everything You Need to Know About Endoscopic Spine Surgery From Dr. Raymond Gardocki

March 19, 2020

We’ve previously discussed back pain and what to do if you’re experiencing discomfort. In many cases, back pain will resolve on its own and improve over time. Other times, more serious measures must be taken.

If you’ve been told you need spine surgery, it’s important to understand what your options are and be aware of the benefits, risks and projected outcomes. Learn about the benefits of endoscopic spine surgery from Dr. Raymond Garocki and see if you’re the right candidate for this minimally invasive procedure.

What is Endoscopic Spine surgery?
Endoscopic spine surgery is a groundbreaking procedure that allows a surgeon to access the spinal column through a small port placed through an incision less than one centimeter in length. Through the port, a physician uses small tools to repair damaged or diseased disc tissue. An endoscope is a rigid tube with a light and camera at the top of it that allows direct light-based visualization of a patient’s anatomy, as well as their tissue.

Traditional surgery damages paraspinal muscles – the “action” muscles of the back that help you lean to one side, arch your back, bend forward or twist your torso. Endoscopic surgery techniques do not cause damage to these dynamic stabilizers.

What qualifies someone to be a candidate for Endoscopic Spine surgery?
Generally, the best candidate is a patient with specific radiculopathy, pain, numbness or weakness in a specific nerve root distribution down the arm, leg or around the chest.
If we can pinpoint the source of a patient’s symptoms to a specific anatomic location and they are a candidate for outpatient surgery, endoscopic spine surgery is an available treatment option.

How does a minimally invasive approach improve surgery outcomes?
The recovery time from a minimally invasive approach, such as endoscopic spine surgery, is much faster than traditional surgery. When you have traditional spine surgery, you’re dealing with bone removal and drilling into joints.

Additional benefits of a minimally invasive approach include:

  • Smaller incisions than traditional spine surgery
  • Limited blood loss as compared to open procedures
  • Better management of post-operative pain
  • Preservation of spinal mobility
  • Significantly lower risk of deep tissue infection
  • Less disruption of surrounding muscles
  • Fewer limitations after surgery
  • Low likelihood of needing narcotics to manage pain
  • Convenience of same-day surgery

What is the average recovery time and process for someone who undergoes Endoscopic Spine surgery?
It’s different for everyone and largely depends on your occupation and routine habits. On average, many patients are driving just two days after a decompression or discectomy operation. By day five, they can take business trips. Two weeks post-operation, most patients can expect to be participating in all regular, daily activities. A spinal fusion procedure requires a bit more downtime, and patients are restricted for 12 weeks to allow proper bone fusion and healing to occur.

If endoscopic spine surgery sounds like the right option for you, make an appointment for a consultation at Campbell Clinic today. Dr. Gardocki is the only surgeon in the Memphis area who’s trained to perform endoscopic spine surgery. He and his medical team are ready to help you find relief and get back on your feet as quickly as possible.

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