Arthroscopic Back Surgery
Arthroscopic Back Surgery
Arthroscopic back surgery is so called because it is performed using an arthroscope; a flexible drinking straw-like tool. This type of surgery is offered to treat spinal ailments such as DDD (Degenerative Disk Disease), herniated or bulging disks, pinched nerves, scar tissue formation, spinal and foraminal stenosis, sciatica bone spurs and facet disease.
The procedure is done under local anesthesia where a incision is made to facilitate the insertion of a small tube through which a camera with the laser and other surgical instruments are inserted. The laser removes disc material through vaporization, and thereby easing the pressure on the spine. After arthroscopic back surgery, which takes about 45 minutes, the tube and the incision closed.
Arthroscopic back surgery is much preferred by most patients as it is minimally invasive as compared to traditional open back surgery and recovery time after surgery is much less. This method makes it unnecessary for the surgeon to dissect muscle or remove bone, making the procedure less traumatic for patients suffering from cervical, lumbar and thoracic disorders.
Arthroscopic back surgery is used to treat bulging or herniated discs through the discectomy method which is known to have significantly less surgical complications. With this procedure the surgeon removes the part of the disk that has been compressing the spinal nerves. However, in the case where both bone and disc are compressing the nerves in the spine, then the best procedure is foramenotomy surgery. This method entails removing bone and disc tissue to ease pain and numbness.
Though it is much preferred, arthroscopic back surgery may not be suitable for all back problems. In conditions like spinal stenosis and spondylolisthesis, a laminectomy is better suited. A laminectomy is similar to a foramenotomy because it involves the removal of bone and disc tissue but is more serious. Arthrocopic techniques are not suited since this kind of procedure will involve the spinal cord. Laminectomy procedures are often combined with spinal fusion.
There is a new type of arthroscopic back surgery that is used to treat Degenerative Disk Disease (DDD) and multiple herniated disk. This surgery allows for the replacement of the whole vertebral disc with an artificial disc.
The type of back surgery the surgeon will recommend depends on several factors including the severity of the condition to be treated, plus the age and health of the patient. However, traditional back surgery methods are recommended for more severe back conditions.
The main benefit of arthroscopic back surgery is that because there is less damage to nerves, muscles, and joints during surgery, the trauma of surgery is significantly less compared to traditional open back surgery. Patients spend far less time in the hospital, and recovery and rehabilitation time is shorter as well. The risk of complications is also reduced because it is performed under local or short general anesthesia. Approximately 90% of arthroscopic back surgery cases are successful with patients reporting pain relief immediately after surgery. However like with any other surgery it is not without its risks.
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