Endoscopic Spine Surgery (ESS) is an advanced, state-of-the-art surgical procedure using micro-sized incisions (less than 1-inch) and small tubular systems called endoscopes to visualize the surgical field with a camera that is projected onto a TV screen. During your procedure fluoroscopes (x-ray machines) are used to provide the best views of your spine. This is a minimally invasive spine surgery
While endoscopic surgical approaches are commonly used to treat other areas of the body (eg, gastrointestinal, gynecological), advances in optics, visualization of tissues, and spinal imaging make ESS a surgical treatment choice for many patients.
ESS also can help preserve normal range of spine mobility post-operatively. In some cases, the ESS procedure can be performed using regional anesthesia instead of general anesthesia, decreasing overall medical risks in patients who are older and/or have co-existing medical disorders that may increase surgical risk.
What Conditions are Treated with ESS?
Some of these diagnoses include moderate to severe disc herniation, facet arthropathy, sciatica, and spinal stenosis. However, spine surgery is not always the first treatment offered. It is generally recommended that types of non-surgical treatment (eg, spinal injections, physical therapy) be tried before any type of spine surgery, including ESS.
Usually, endoscopic spine surgery is not suitable for revision surgery, cases of clear spinal instability, high-grade spondylolisthesis, and/or cancer.
Endoscopic spine surgery is used to treat a variety of spinal disorders and conditions, including:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Herniated discs
- Scoliosis or other spinal deformities
- Spinal fractures
- Spinal infections
- Spinal tumors
Some of the potential benefits of choosing a minimally invasive surgery such as endoscopic spine surgery are:
- Less blood loss from surgery
- Reduced chance of muscle damage and scarring
- Reduced risk of infection and post-op pain
- Faster recovery time
- Less physical rehabilitation required
- Better cosmetic results from a small incision
- Less reliance on pain medications after surgery