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Endoscopic Microdiscectomy

An endoscopic microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive endoscopic surgery that allows direct visualization of the disc and the nerves. This procedure is used for decompressing nerve roots damaged by compressed spinal discs. It is usually indicated in patients with a herniated or compressed lumbar disc, who have not found adequate pain relief with pain management injections or conservative treatment. Or, the pain after a pain management injection returns rapidly and the pain is intolerable.

Many patients who suffer from sciatica, referred pain down either legs, and/or low back pain may be a candidate for this procedure. This procedure can also help in relieving pain associated with spinal stenosis and low back arthritis.

What is a minimally invasive endoscopic microdiscectomy?

An endoscopic microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive endoscopic surgery that allows direct visualization of the disc and nerves. This procedure is used for decompressing nerve roots damaged by compressed spinal discs. It is usually indicated in patients with a herniated or compressed lumbar disc, who have not found adequate pain relief with pain management injections or conservative treatment.

Many patients who suffer from sciatica, referred pain down either legs, and/or low back pain may be a candidate for this procedure. This procedure can also help in relieving pain associated with spinal stenosis and low back arthritis.

Benefits associated with an endoscopic microdiscectomy

  • Minimally invasive surgery – less trauma to muscles and soft tissue than with traditional open surgery
  • Quick recovery time
  • Minimal pain or discomfort following the surgery
  • Immediate leg pain relief in most cases
  • Fewer complications and risks than open spine surgery
  • Small incision and minimal scar tissue
  • High success rate and sustained success of the therapy
  • No or minimal blood loss
  • Use of local anesthesia
  • Visual endoscopic control of the treatment
  • No hardware placement or loss of mobility

What are the indications for a microdiscectomy?

  • Compressed disc, usually with herniation that is causing back or leg pain, or neurological symptoms
  • Failure of more conservative treatments, including pain management injections, to provide sufficient long term relief
  • High suspicion of discogenic cause on imaging or by diagnostic procedures

What are the details of the endoscopic microdiscectomy surgery?

Defined as a minimally invasive surgery, endoscopic microdiscectomy requires a small incision, usually no larger than 1 cm, and x-rays to gain access to the lumbar spine.

Under x-ray guidance, a series of muscle dilators are used to stretch soft tissue, instead of cutting muscles, and create a path for the endoscope. Special instruments can also be used to shave down arthritic bone that may also be compressing a nerve. Once placed, the endoscope allows the physician to use direct visualization of the disc, nerve, and other structures and to safely remove problematic disc, freeing up the nerves.

Usually done under monitored anesthesia care, meaning you’re awake and responsive, but comfortable throughout the
procedure.

Unlike traditional open surgery, in which muscles, ligaments, and even and bones might be severed to reach the specified area; endoscopic microdiscectomy uses an endoscope, or small camera, to magnify the area where the microdiscectomy will be performed. Through the use of this technique only a small portion of the herniated disc that is compressing the spinal nerve needs to be removed.

What to expect after the procedure?

While this is an outpatient surgery, we do recommend resting for a prescribed period postoperatively and then gradually increasing activity levels with instruction and supervision by your providers. You will also be advised to wear a back brace for added support during the healing process.

If you are suffering from low-back pain and have been researching minimally invasive spine surgery as well as laser spine surgery, schedule an appointment to speak to one of our specialists. You may find that endoscopic microdiscectomy is the perfect solution for you. Often, this procedure is covered by healthcare insurance.

Pain Screening Quiz

Pain presents itself in many different ways, at different times and in many cases is triggered by specific activities. Minimally Invasive Spine AZ will be happy to answer your questions in conjunction with a personal phone call follow up with one of our doctors. Please answer the questions as accurately as possible.

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Bulging Disc

A bulging disc is quite common, and usually remains undetected until the disc bulge comes in contact with adjacent nerves leading to pain and other symptoms.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease is not truly a disease, but more of a chain of events that naturally occur as we age. There is no avoiding degenerative disc disease, but you may slow its progress.

Disc Tear

As the outer shell of your disc begins to toughen or dry up, a painful crack or tear could happen. Learn what a disc tear is, and how you can recover from it.

Failed Back & Neck Surgery

There are many reasons why back or neck surgery may provide lackluster results. Bad diagnosis, unskilled surgeon, or improper healing; which is it?

Facet Joint Syndrome

Facet Joint Syndrome refers to the degeneration of the arthritic changes that occur in your facet joints. Age and daily wear and tear are the most common culprits.

Foraminal Stenosis

Foraminal Stenosis describes the narrowing of the foramen. As the foramen narrows, exiting nerves can become compressed causing pain and other symptoms.

Free Pain Quiz

Pain presents itself in many different ways, at different times and in many cases is triggered by specific activities. We will be happy to answer your questions in conjunction with a personal phone call follow up with one of our doctors.

Free MRI Review

Receive a free MRI Review from a top trained spine surgeon in Minimally Invasive and Endoscopic Spine Surgery Techniques

Timothy Adler Luke, M.D.

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