Endoscopy & microsurgery offer new spinal care options

Source: Wanfang Hospital

Published on 2019-04-02

Due to aging, improper posture over long periods and other causes, spinal degeneration is a common problem.

Disc degeneration is of particular importance. Protruding discs and disc degeneration cause neural foramina stenosis, which applies pressure to nerves and causes various symptoms. When you suffer from long-term back pain or sciatic neuralgia, neurological intermittent claudication, muscular dystrophy, abnormal feelings, incontinence or related issues, weak lower limbs, paralysis or other symptoms during day-to-day routines, you should seek medical consultation.

With regard to spinal lesions, prevention is more important than treatment. First, avoid bending at the waist to pick up heavy objects. In addition, when standing or sitting for a long period of time, ensure that your spine has something to lean against to reduce pressure, and do exercises to strengthen back muscles. Early symptoms like back pain can be relieved through sufficient rest and anti-inflammatory painkillers; good results can be obtained if physiotherapy is also utilized. If responses to medication and physiotherapy are weak, spinal surgery can be considered.

Dr. Yi-Jie Kuo, Department of Orthopedics,Wanfang Hospital

Regardless of whether spinal degeneration or lesions are early or late-stage, they can be treated with microsurgery. For early spinal lesions, endoscopic disc removal
surgery or endoscopic intervertebral decompression surgery can be considered. These involve only a 1-cm incision, and most patients can leave the hospital on the same day or the day following the surgery. As for more serious late stage degeneration that involves foramina stenosis or intervertebral instabilities, decompression and pedicle screws fixation spinal fusion microsurgery can be used. These techniques require a 3- cm incision, depending on the number of screws needed. Microsurgery’s most important advantage over conventional techniques is that it greatly reduces post-surgical pain and shortens recuperation times.