If conservative back treatment options fail, you may find yourself in need of spine surgery. Minimizing the injury to tissue, trauma, and post-operative pain should be a priority for doctors when determining which type of spine surgery is best for a patient’s situation. There have been great strides in spine surgery technology over the years, and Endoscopic Spine Surgery is the best current example of how far surgical medicine has come.
What is Endoscopic Spine Surgery?
Endoscopic Spine Surgery is an advanced form of minimally invasive spine surgery that is designed to offer quicker recovery times and less recurring pain than traditional spine surgery. This surgical procedure uses micro-sized incisions, less than 1-inch, and small tubular systems in combination with an endoscope to visualize the surgical site. In many cases, Endoscopic Spine Surgery can help decrease the overall health risks of surgery by using local anesthesia versus general anesthesia.
Who can benefit from Endoscopic Spine Surgery?
Minimally invasive spine surgery may be a beneficial option for patients who need specific types of surgery, such as cervical or lumbar fusion. Minimally invasive surgery allows for a smaller incision, sparing more soft tissue around the surgical site and enabling a quicker recovery for some patients. This usually also results in faster healing and less pain for the patient. The prevalence of adjacent segment degeneration, a post-surgical condition where the level immediately above or below a repaired area (after a fusion, for example) may be weakened, is also lessened with minimally invasive surgery. Open spine surgery incisions are usually 5-6 inches long, but minimally invasive surgery may be performed with only a fraction of such an incision being necessary.
What are the potential outcomes of Endoscopic Spine Surgery?
Compared to inpatient, long-incision spine surgery, outcomes for surgery in the outpatient setting are significantly improved. Instead of an average hospital stay of five days, a patient may only spend a few hours in the outpatient center before returning home. The duration of surgery is cut in half, which also greatly reduces the risk of infection or the necessity of a blood transfusion. Patients typically walk on the day of their surgery (as soon as they are awake and their anesthesia has worn off) and report less pain when walking. Spine patients who undergo surgery at Campbell Surgery Center have never had an infection to date and experience roughly only one-third of the blood loss of spine patients in the hospital setting.