Endoscopic partial disc arthroplasty is a minimally invasive procedure intended to repair discs in the spine that may be causing pain. The word “arthroplasty” refers to repairing a damaged joint. In this case, the damaged joint is a spinal disc, which will be replaced with an artificial prosthetic disc.
An endoscopic partial disc arthroplasty can be performed in all regions of the spine, so the surgeon may vary his or her approach based on where the damaged disc is. After the patient is prepped and put under anesthesia, the surgeon will begin by making small incisions in order to gain access to the spine. Once the disc space is open, the surgeon will remove the damaged or diseased disc, replacing it with an artificial disc made of metal. Once the prosthetic is in place, the surgeon will adjust the surrounding vertebrae in order to enhance stability in the spine. Finally, the incision will be closed, and the patient will be taken to the recovery room.
Patients can typically expect to stay in the hospital for 3-5 days after the procedure. However, the total recovery time may take up to few months. As the spine heals, the patient may be required to see a physical therapist or complete gentle stretches at home in order to promote healing and restoration of range of motion. Patients should maintain regular follow up visits with their physicians and follow post-operative instructions closely.