Thanks to its anatomical structure, the human spine allows great freedom of movement. At the same time, it is the centre of the musculoskeletal system. The intervertebral discs of the spinal column play an important role, as they are the connection between the individual vertebral bodies; moreover, their soft structure plays a fundamental role in the function of the spinal column.
There are several reasons why these structures can get injured and cause pain in the spinal column. One of the most frequent causes is disc herniation. Following wear and tear or an accident, the outer fibrous ring may rupture and the fibres and core material may exit into the spinal canal. Depending on the anatomical structures and location of the herniated disc, the symptoms can be very different.
It is possible that disc tissue compresses important neural structures causing pain sensitivity and limited mobility.
An innovative procedure, endoscopic minimally invasive spine surgery, can help repair the herniated disc and give immediate pain relief. This is a safe, minimally invasive procedure that ensures a shorter recovery time.
The team of the Lower Silesian Centre for Minimally Invasive Spine Neurosurgery at KCM Clinic in Jelenia Góra specialises in minimally invasive and endoscopic surgical treatment of diseases of the cervical, lumbar and thoracic spine.
What is endoscopic spine surgery?
Endoscopic minimally invasive spine surgery, also known as endoscopic discectomy, is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that aims to remove herniated disc material that is pressing on a nerve or the spinal cord.
Until recently, cervical herniated discs were only treated by traditional surgical methods. Now, KCM Clinic offers an innovative, advanced treatment with minimally invasive endoscopic surgery to remove a hernia or herniated disc in the cervical, lumbar and thoracic spine.
Is endoscopic minimally invasive spine surgery right for you?
Herniated discs can be extremely painful, often causing great discomfort and affecting your personal and professional life.
There are a few conservative treatments that may help treat symptoms of a herniated disc, such as physiotherapy, stretching, exercise, or corticosteroids. When these options don’t work, spine surgery might be the only viable treatment option.
Depending on the location of the hernia and where pain is located, endoscopic spine surgery can be performed in the lumbar, thoracic, or cervical area. These are the conditions that can be treated with endoscopic spine surgery:
- A protrusion or a disc prolapse in the cervical spine
- Narrowing of the intervertebral foramen in the cervical spine (foraminal stenosis)
- Spinal stenosis in the cervical spine, with or without pressure on the spinal cord, without advanced neurological deficits such as: spinal cord paralysis, lower limb paresis, advanced upper limb paresis
- Advanced degenerative changes of the vertebral bodies in the cervical spine
- Other conditions of the cervical spine, depending on the doctor’s assessment
- Torn disc or chronic radiculitis (shooting pain down the leg)
How do you prepare for endoscopic minimally invasive spine surgery?
First of all, you will have a consultation with one of our patient coordinators, who will ask you questions about your overall health and assess whether the procedure is right for you. You will need to send us an MRI or CT scan of your spine, performed within the last 6 months. Once the procedure is confirmed, make sure you have all your test results with you when you visit our clinic, including the CD. The test description alone is not sufficient.
There might be other medical tests you need to undergo, depending on the recommendations of our neurosurgeon, Dr. Stanisław Kwiek, who will perform the procedure. On the day of admission to our clinic, you will also have an anesthesiological consultation. You will most likely stay at our clinic for two days. Please also consider that you won’t be able to drive a car for some time after surgery.
How does endoscopic minimally invasive spine surgery work?
Endoscopic minimally invasive spine surgery is a standard minimally invasive method for spine surgery that allows the complete removal of a herniated disc and decompression of nerves through a small skin incision. Trauma caused by this procedure is minimal.
Endoscopic minimally invasive spine surgery is performed under general or local anaesthesia. Either way, the treated area will be completely numb and you will not feel any pain.
First, a guide wire is used to ensure the correct positioning of the surgical instruments in the treated area. A dilator will be used to keep the incision open. Then, an endoscope with a HD camera is inserted, an essential component that guarantees optical control of the treatment at all times. The herniated and vertebral disc tissue is carefully extracted with the help of forceps to relieve compression of the nerve structures. This is performed from the inside of the hernia, reducing the risk of damage to the spinal cord. After the operation, the instruments are carefully removed and the incision is closed.
An endoscopic minimally invasive spine surgery lasts between 30 minutes – 1 hour.
What is the recovery time of endoscopic spine surgery?
Endoscopic spine surgery is minimally invasive, allowing for quicker recovery than traditional surgical methods. You may receive painkillers to treat initial pain and discomfort from the surgery.
After the procedure, you will need to observe how your body responds to the surgery. Most patients feel better right away but always make sure to discuss your symptoms with your doctor to ensure you are ready to resume normal activities. Avoid heavy lifting for at least six weeks, even if you feel fine.
You will have to follow physiotherapy and rehabilitation, which is very important after this type of surgery. At KCM Clinic, Dr. Krzysztof Suszyński, a specialist in physiotherapy, will supervise your physiotherapeutic treatment, before and after the procedure.
Get in touch with us anytime if you’d like to know more about endoscopic spine surgery or if you want to plan your visit at KCM Clinic.