Endoscopic fusion is type of minimally invasive spinal surgery technique that uses an endoscope, or tube with a small camera at the end of it, to view the internal anatomy and access the spine.
Comprehensive Orthopedic and Spine Care uses this procedure to fuse together two vertebrae to provide a patient’s spine with additional stability and prevents further motion between the two bones. This minimally invasive endoscopic approach lessens soft tissue injury normally experienced during traditional open back surgery, allowing for a quicker recovery time.
IS ENDOSCOPIC FUSION RIGHT FOR ME?
Endoscopic spinal fusion helps to relieve a patient’s chronic pain when more conservative approaches aren’t able to relieve a patient’s symptoms. Dr. Joseph Weinstein may recommend this procedure for patients who experience:
- Spondylolisthesis, a condition that occurs when one vertebra slips forward over another;
- Spinal instability, as a result of degenerative diseases like arthritis;
- Spinal deformities;
- Vertebral fractures
Endoscopic fusion is often performed alongside procedures like a discectomy (disc removal) or after laminectomy or foraminotomy. Comprehensive Orthopedic and Spine Care may recommend endoscopic fusion to help with spinal stability in patients who have chronic, debilitating back pain for which no specific cause has been found.
In an endoscopic fusion, an incision is made over the spine, and Dr. Joseph Weinstein inserts an endoscope, or tube with a small camera at the end of it, into the surgical area. This allows him to view the affected area and gives them access the spine. A bone graft is then placed between or around the vertebrae, and metal plates, screws or rods are implanted to keep the spine stable. The bone graft material fuses with your spine’s vertebrae over the period of several months.
AM I A CANDIDATE FOR ENDOSCOPIC FUSION?
Endoscopic fusion is a well-established procedure at Comprehensive Orthopedic and Spine Care, but is generally only recommended when it’s considered medically necessary to relieve our patients’ symptoms. If your condition cannot be treated with conservative methods like physical therapy and medication, you may want to talk to your doctor about a surgical option for treatment.
Most procedures involve a hospital stay of a couple of days — this ensures that the surgically treated area has a chance to start the healing process. Pain medication may be prescribed to relieve your discomfort, and a brace or soft cervical collar may be used to keep the spine aligned.
Strenuous physical activity is restricted for several weeks after the procedure, and physical therapy is recommended to help restore mobility and strength in the spine. It can take several months for the bone grafts to completely fuse with the rest of your spine.
If you have questions about endoscopic fusion or would like to consult with Dr. Joseph Weinstein on your spinal condition, please contact us today to set up an appointment!