Dr. Mark Mahan is a neurosurgeon who specializes in spinal surgery at the University of Utah Health and he has joined Surae on Good Things Utah to talk about what an endoscopic spine procedure is and who qualifies.
Endoscopic spine surgery is often an alternative to traditional, open spine surgery. This surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that may help correct spine issues and relieve leg and back pain or neck and arm pain. During this surgery, they use small tools, tiny incisions or cuts, and a camera called an endoscope to see the problem and surgically correct your spine problems.
With open spine surgery, there is a significant amount of tissue trauma which can lead to more pain and longer recovery after surgery. In contrast, with endoscopic spine surgery, the incision is about 7 millimeters, which is less than the width of your fingernail, depending on your fingers. With this approach, there is less tissue trauma, joint disruption, and bleeding which can all lead to a faster recovery post-surgery.
Who are the best candidates for this minimally invasive treatment option?
- Simple structural spine issues such as spinal stenosis or a herniated disk.
- People who are more likely to experience complications from more invasive spine procedures:
- Over the age of 65
- Have a high BMI
- Underlying health condition
- Higher risk of infection due to the weakened immune system
In terms of recovery after the procedure patients tend to recover much quicker after undergoing endoscopic spine surgery compared to more invasive procedures, they have a lower risk of infection and minimal tissue trauma.
For additional information about endoscopic spine procedures or to find a specialist who can assist visit the U of U Health website.