Endoscopic Discectomy

The intervertebral disc is an elastic, soft cushion located in between the spine bones called vertebrae. The disc provides shock absorption when pressure is added to the spine.

When the disc is ruptured (herniated), the inside portion (nucleus) spills out and could cause the nerves to become pinched.(See Herniated DiscEnlarged view of image)There is normally a little extra space around the spinal cord and spinal nerves, but if enough of the disc is pushed out of place, then these structures may be compressed.

Disc herniation is could be a direct result of an accident, fall, or repetitive strain. Most common symptoms include: leg pain, muscle weakness, and tingling sensations in the abdominal region.

MRI scans (special x-ray) usually identify most cases of disc herniation. To alleviate pain caused by disc herniation, your Tower Orthopaedics specialist may suggest endoscopic surgery. Your doctor may relieve the nerve compression by removing the intervertebral disc (called a disectomy). Also pressure on the nerve can be relieved by trimming or removing the roof, or lamina, of the vertebra to create more space for the nerve (called laminectomy).

The Endoscopic discectomy procedure is performed under a local anesthesia. During this procedure a small, specially-designed, endoscopic probe is inserted through the skin of the back between the vertebrae and into the herniated disc space (See Device InsertEnlarged view of image). Tiny surgical attachments are the sent down the hollow center of the probe to remove a portion of the offending disc (See Tissue RemovalEnlarged view of image). The microsurgical attachments can also sometimes be used to push the bulging disc back into place and be used for the removal of disc fragments and small bony spurs.