The different types of Endoscopic Spinal Surgery

“The doctors have to cut him open”

This is a common phrase in the movies of yore. And it is meant to instil fear and uncertainty in the minds of the watchers, and in the minds of the kith and kin, in real cases. However, with the advent of the endoscope this has become a fairy tale of the hoary past. Imagine performing a complicated surgery and the points of entry are mere pinholes. This has revolutionised the concept of surgery, in that there is no comparison between the levels of pain, suffering and recovery between this and the conventional surgery.

Endoscopic Spinal Surgery at Navaladi Endospine Care, under the world class expert hands of Dr. Navaladi Shankar, uses the latest state of the art equipment to accomplish some mind bending procedures, with a stellar record. Any person with spinal distress is evaluated cohesively and all discussions are transparent. The patient gets to understand every single stage of the procedure and nothing moves forward unless the patient is completely at rest and fully in understanding of the procedure.

And then there is this blog, which strives to narrow the gap between the professional and the patient, as much as possible, in the realms of the medical world. Every ordinary person should have full awareness of leading medical procedures so that every decision can be an informed and educated one. This would also put an end to evil people with half baked practices, the quacks, as it were.

In light of this let us have a brief insight into Endoscopic Spinal Surgery. Now first of all what are the different types of Endoscopic Spinal Surgery? Back surgery comprises broadly, of 3 types. The first type of surgery is Laminectomy. The most common form of back surgery is Laminectomy, which is relieving the pressure on the spinal cord by operating on the lamina, which is the bone that covers the spine. The spinal column sometimes pinches a spinal nerve which can lead to debilitating consequences and can even lead to paralysis. The lamina is endoscopically operated upon and the pinched nerve is isolated. Such nerve pinching usually causes back and leg pain.

The second most popular form of back surgery is discectomy. The spinal vertebrae are separated by discs that are hard tissue on the outside and soft on the inside. This prevents the individual vertebrae from rubbing against each other and also acts as a shock absorber. When these discs prolapse, they may impinge movement and may also be a source of extreme pain as a result of contact with the spinal nerves. Discectomy alleviates this distress by artificial buttress of the vertebrae by introducing artificial spacers and removing portions of protruding discs.

Sometimes there may be degradation in the spinal vertebral column itself, in that the individual vertebrae may be showing signs of wear. This would mean that there is no room for spacing or using artificial fillers as the degradation is quite extreme. The only source of solution is to perform the third type of back surgery called Spinal Fusion. This means in essence fusing two vertebrae together. Sometimes this is the only way to restore normalcy to the patient. Spinal Fusion is done using rods and screws and the independent vertebrae are joined together, thereby restoring stability to the spinal structural column.

How is the back surgery procedure performed?

Let us analyse the different types of surgery and how they are performed. For Laminectomy, The Surgeon introduces the endoscope through a small incision in the back and through that he reaches the spinal column. Using a retractor to spread the muscles, the surgeon cuts away part of the ligamentum flavum, which is basically the ligament supporting the back. By removing the impinging portions of the ligament, the surgeon will alleviate the distressed cause, by isolating the spinal nerves. The compressed nerve is then retracted so that normalcy returns.

Niche procedures like Balloon Kyphoplasty wherein an inflated artificial balloon is surgically fixed to correct kyphosis. This way congenital defects of arched spine can be corrected and the patient can reclaim normalcy with a full slew of movements.

Discectomy has become literally run of the mill and the wide range of state of the art equipment coupled with decades of surgical prowess make Navaladi Endospine Care a haven for solving back issues. The different types of Endoscopic Spine Surgery today along with several niche procedures to accurately solve the most unique of issues are something that the unaffected common person should be aware of, so that at the time of personal distress or while on the decision tree for a near and dear, the common person should be able to dip into his own personal bank of knowledge and supplement that with professional advice so that the best decisions are made and best care is taken.

This blog aims to be a stepping stone in that direction.