Endoscopic Spine Surgery Minimally Invasive Procedure Now and Future Applications

Dr. Samuel A. Joseph, Jr. explains endoscopic spine surgery and what he is developing for future use of what he considers “the ultimate in spine surgery”.

Endoscopic spine surgery is what most spine surgeons would consider the ‘ultimate’ method of minimally-invasive spine surgery. A camera is inserted through a very small incision to the damaged area of the spine. The camera projects the images onto a video screen so the surgeon can easily visualize the pathology. Tiny instruments are inserted through the camera to repair the spine under direct visualization.

Using an endoscope specially developed for spine surgery, I can now watch on a computer monitor as I maneuver my surgical instruments to the site of the herniated disc.

Endoscopic spine surgery can be broken down into three stages.

1st step – Access
During surgery, you lie on your stomach. I will make an approximate 5 millimeter-long incision in your back and create a channel directly to the herniated disc. Surrounding tissue is moved aside gently without cutting. A natural opening – the intervertebral foramen or the interlaminary fenestration – is used to access the vertebral canal.

2nd step – The herniation is removed
I will guide a special endoscope (small camera) through the small incision to the surgical field. I will have a bright and sharp view of all structures in the spinal canal. The herniated disc material is carefully and gently removed by using tiny forceps and other special instruments.

3rd step – Review and completion
On completion, I will check that the affected nerve fibers are now moving freely. Only then will the instruments be removed and the small incision closed with one or two stitches and a dressing. You will usually be back on your feet after a few hours.

The next steps that I am personally developing are to perform fusions endoscopically as well as doing these surgeries while the patient awake. This eliminates the need for general anesthesia with less risk and faster recovery.

About Joseph Spine Institute

Joseph Spine Institute is the advanced center for spine, scoliosis and minimally invasive spine surgery. Founded by Dr. Samuel A. Joseph, Jr., a fellowship trained, board-certified orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Joseph has assembled a comprehensive team of highly skilled spine specialists that are devoted to offering the highest level of spine care available today. He has also strategically partnered with some of the most innovative leaders in the spine care industry today in order to bring our patients the latest in technology, products and resources.

From state-of-the-art technology, to alternate therapies and interventional pain management treatments our industry leading spine care practice offers our patients a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of spinal conditions. Our highly-trained surgeons offer an integrated approach to patients that includes surgical and non-surgical options such as pain management and physical therapy.