With the majority of the population working long hours, spine issues have become common. As such, endoscopic spine surgery is the typical course of action in such cases. However, every medical procedure can be daunting, and patients must know every minute detail. And worry not because this guide covers everything you should know about the surgery.
What Is It?
You’ve probably heard of other types of minimally invasive spinal surgeries, like thoracic surgeries, but not endoscopic spine surgeries. So, it is a minimally invasive surgery that uses small instruments to release the disc material from your back. The procedure is performed through an incision in the abdomen or chest area.
There are two types of endoscopic spinal surgeries: posterolateral, with the tip of the needle known as an injection tool, and lateral transforaminal, with the needle through the disc and behind it.
Posterolateral endoscopic spine surgery is performed through a small incision in the back. The surgeon has specialized training in this procedure and performs it by inserting a surgical camera through that incision to view what lies inside your spinal canal.
This type of surgery is minimally invasive. It involves the use of small instruments through incisions to remove lesions or tumors from the spine and surrounding tissues. And since this is not open surgery, the risk of mistakes is low, and the recovery time is less.
Pain Relief and Better Mobility
The goal of the procedure is to relieve pain and improve the range of motion. Meanwhile, this surgery is performed through a small incision in your lower back, which makes it easier for your neurosurgeon to access the spine, and you will be under local anesthesia.
You will be given a back brace for a few weeks after your surgery. The brace is a support belt that helps you keep your back straight and properly aligned with the spine. This can be helpful to prevent further injuries from occurring during recovery, but it’s essential not to use it too much or for too long—you should only wear the back brace for about two weeks following each surgery session.
After a minimally invasive spine surgery, you may experience pain at the injection sites that can last up to two months. As such, pain is not a sign of poor healing or an indication for additional treatment; it’s normal and should go away on its own within two weeks of surgery (or sooner if your doctor has prescribed any medication).
The most common cause of post-surgical pain is nerve damage caused by the spinal instrumentation used during the procedure. And nerve damage may result in the following symptoms:
- Hypersensitivity to touch or heat.
- Burning sensations.
- Numbness or tingling around the area where nerves were cut.
- Sharp pains when bending over or sitting down for long periods (like when you need to stand up from sitting).
- Muscle spasms around certain joints (such as knees) can make it difficult to walk without feeling like an old lady with her feet stuck together.
- Restless legs syndrome (RLS) causes uncomfortable feelings in the legs during restful moments, like sleeping at night.
- Headaches that come on suddenly after lying down too long at night.
Things to Consider While Choosing Healthcare Providers for Spine Surgeries
- Should have experience in minimally invasive spine surgeries.
- A good reputation.
- Openness to questions and feedback.