Lumbar Endoscopic Discectomy

The lower back or lumbar region is often the site of pain due to its high mobility and weight bearing. Spongy discs present between the vertebral bones help cushion the spine during stress and movement. The intervertebral discs in the lumbar region may get damaged due to stress, causing them to herniate or rupture, and compress on adjacent spinal nerves. This can lead to lower back pain, as well as pain, weakness and numbness in the lower legs. Lumbar endoscopic discectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure to treat a herniated or ruptured disc, and relieve pressure on the spinal nerves.

The procedure is performed under local anesthesia. With the help of imaging studies your doctor identifies the affected disc and inserts a metal tube into the disc space. An endoscope, which is a lighted viewing tube with a camera, is introduced through the metal tube to enable your doctor to view enlarged live images on a monitor. Instruments are then introduced through the metal tube and the surgery performed under image guidance. The herniated or ruptured disc is removed, and components placed to stabilize the spine.

Lumbar endoscopic discectomy is a minimally invasive procedure that usually results in lower blood loss, less pain, minimal tissue damage, shorter hospital stay and a faster recovery. Though complications are rare, lumbar endoscopic discectomy may be associated with prolonged pain, infection, bleeding, nerve injury and spinal fluid leakage.