Endoscopic Spine Fusion
Lower back pain is one of the most common struggles that patients face with age; however, this symptom can sometimes suggest a serious condition that can destabilize the spine. Fortunately, for many patients with degenerative disc diseases, spinal deformities, or other serious spinal ailments, endoscopic spine fusion has become an increasingly viable option to offset the post-operative challenges of open spine fusion and restore quality of life.
By minimizing muscle damage, soft tissue dissection, and spinal muscle atrophy, endoscopic spine fusion presents a strong alternative to open fusion operations. This procedure minimizes recovery time and effectively improves patient symptoms, allowing them to return to their normal routines in a timely manner. However, this procedure is not a quick solution to correct just any form of back pain, and it may not be the optimal alternative for every patient case.
Candidates for Endoscopic Spine Fusion
Although this minimally invasive procedure is a top alternative that provides a collection of respectable results for patients and surgeons, most physicians still try to treat initial symptoms with physical therapy or a series of pain management prescriptions before referring to endoscopic spine fusion.
However, if a patient continues to struggle with low back pain and other troubling spinal symptoms caused by an underlying condition, surgery may become the optimal treatment decision. There are multiple conditions that may require treatment via endoscopic spine fusion, including:
- Spinal fracture
- Spinal stenosis
- Spinal infection
- Spinal tumor
- Spinal deformities
- Spinal disease (degenerative disc disease)
Once the surgical team has administered anesthesia and prepped the patient for surgery, the surgeon makes a small incision on the patient’s back or side. Then, the surgeon dilates the back muscles so they are flexible enough to maneuver intraoperatively. Slowly, the surgeon shifts the back muscles to open up a clear view of the vertebrate. The surgeon then removes the unstable section of the vertebrate and replaces it with a bone graft. Once the bone graft is appropriately fitted, the surgeon then fuses the graft along with the two adjacent vertebrae sections to permanently seal the unstable area. Finally, the incision sight is sealed and the surgical team prepares the patient for recovery.
The recovery expectations for endoscopic spinal fusion are, overall, favorable for most patients. Patients can expect dramatic improvement in Oswestry Disability Index (OWI) scores post-operation, which may occur within as little as a few days. Similarly, patients typically report an overall elevation in comfort and have fairly minimal amounts of pain after a successful procedure, which helps to minimize recovery time. Your physician and orthopaedic team will personalize a recovery plan that protects your spine and improves your mobility as quickly and safely as possible.
Endoscopic Spine Fusion in St. Augustine
If you’re tired of chronic lower back pain sitting you out of life’s biggest moments, visit the specialists at Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine. We’re dedicated to providing unparalleled patient care, service, and treatment options, which is why our orthopaedic team is one of the only ones in the area offering minimally invasive spine fusion. We’ll work with you to find the best treatment and recovery options, so you can reunite with the activities you love most. To schedule an appointment, fill out our online request form or call 904-825-0540.