Spinal disease represent an increasing health problem worldwide. This has led to the development of the concept of treating the etiological cause of pain using minimally invasive methods, to replace the classic open surgical approaches. These, although highly effective, involve performing them under general anaesthesia, with hospitalised patients, prolonged recoveries and not without post-surgical sequelae.
The treatment of lumbar and radicular disc pathology has advanced in recent decades, innovations have improved access and visualization of the epidural space through small incisions. Technological advances such as the high definition flexible endoscope, and currently laser technology have been really helpful.
Indications of spinal decompression
-Discogenic pain at the thoracic and lumbar cervical level.
-Characteristic root pain at the thoracic and lumbar cervical level.
-Spinal stenosis (narrowing).
-Pain syndrome after open spinal surgery especially when there is postsurgical fibrosis and entrapment or compression of nerve roots.
Outpatient clinic with observation.
Anaesthesia: It is performed with the presence of an anaesthesiologist at the patient’s bedside, complete monitoring, and monitored local anaesthesia + sedation, on an outpatient basis.
Surgical technique: The treatment consists of navigation by endoscopy in the spinal canal. Under X-ray guidance through the lower back area (sacral hiatus) where a small incision is made, a flexible fibre optic endoscope is inserted. Next, a flexible optic is inserted in one channel and in the other a laser. Therefore, it does not have any risk of penetration into the deep tissues. Once the entire system is in place, it is navigated within the vertebral canal, visualizing both normal and fat structures, discs, nerves, such as hernias, protrusions, scar tissues, osteophytes or other abnormalities.
Therefore, it is possible to diagnose or confirm the previous diagnosis, but through direct vision, and then in the same procedure, treat the origin of the patient’s pain and disability.
How safe is spinal decompression?
The safety and efficacy of the procedure are established under the strict control of the endoscope probe; endoscope visualization (an indication of treated structures and morphological changes in real-time when performing laser treatment) and electromyography and evoked potential monitoring (monitors the patient’s baseline situation neurologically and the neurophysiological responses to intracanal laser shots to rule out any possible direct interaction on neural structures).
What happens after surgery?
The procedure is usually completed in 30 to 40 minutes. Many patients experience immediate relief. Patients go to a post-surgical observation or recovery room and can usually be discharged approximately the day of surgery or after 24 hours.
Patients can walk the same day of their procedure, and physical therapy with light exercise can begin the next day. Many patients can resume normal activities the next day, and most can return to work in less than a week.
At Harley Street Hospital, we offer advanced anaesthetic techniques, minimally invasive surgery methods to reduce damage to muscles, and high-level pain management techniques. All this performed by top surgeons with specialist training in these techniques. Book an appointment to get a checkup.
You can read more here: Day Surgery Lumbar Fusion