Percutaneous Lumbar Endoscopic Discectomy is a new minimally invasive technique that allows patients to recover quickly. Percutaneous Discectomy is a different way of approaching Lumbar Disc Hernias.
What is a lumbar disc hernia?
Lumbar disc herniation is the consequence of degeneration and loss of the elastic properties of the intervertebral disc.
The discs are fibrous structures like cushions that exist between every two vertebrae and cushion the movements of the spine. A great variety of diseases or injuries or ageing cause these discs to lose their elasticity and may fragment.
When all or part of this affected disc moves out of its normal place, it has the potential to compress nerve structures (nerve roots, spinal cord). It can even cause symptoms such as lower back pain radiated to the lower limbs (sciatica), feeling of crushing, weakness in the leg…
About the Endoscopic Discectomy:
With this technique, we access the endoscope through the natural holes of the spine in order to remove the hernia.
We make a minimum incision, approximately one centimetre long, from which no structure is damaged. Once inside the disc, we can observe it through a screen. The relationship of the disc with the nerve is analyzed and the hernia is removed, leaving the nerve root free.
It is a revolutionary technique, surgery is less invasive and painful for the patient.
What advantages does it provide?
The main advantage is that it is a minimally invasive surgery, that means it is less aggressive. The surgery and hospitalization have a short duration. This generates, on the one hand, a faster recovery since there are less pain and bleeding. It also implies fewer subsequent complications.
On the other hand, in the long term, it has many advantages since the spine remains stable because the bone is not removed. In turn, prostheses are not placed. With this technique, the patient can carry out his normal life and exercise quickly.
Also, Percutaneous Discectomy is a surgery suitable for people with other complications, such as obesity or old age.
How is the postoperative period?
The endoscopic discectomy takes approximately one hour. Subsequently, the patient goes to a hospital ward. There he stays two hours, feeds and must get up and walk. Then he goes home.
The long-term results are similar to conventional surgery. However, the difference lies in the short-term response. In a week or 10 days, patients can resume their work activity normally. Also, the postoperative, mostly, does not present pain. That is the main advantage of minimally invasive techniques, where internal manipulation is much less.