Interlaminar lumbar endoscopic discectomy is a procedure for patients experiencing pain as a result of a pinched spinal nerve. The pain from this ailment could originate from a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, sciatica, degenerative disease, or another condition that compresses spinal nerve roots. Interlaminar lumbar endoscopic discectomy is a minimally invasive procedure that may leave patients with less overall blood loss, scarring, and pain compared to open surgical approaches. While transforaminal lumbar endoscopic discectomies have been a common approach to minimally invasive lower back surgery, the interlaminar approach can be used if the L5-S1 region (bottom few vertebrae of the spine) is difficult to get access.
During the procedure, the patient is positioned on his or her side or stomach depending on the area causing pain. The patient may be placed under local or general anesthesia. The affected area of the back is then sterilized to reduce the risk of infection during surgery. Two small incisions are made along the skin above the damaged area of the spine. An x-ray device may be used throughout the procedure to help the physician see the surgical site. The first incision is made for the endoscope, which is a small device that allows the physician to examine the inside of the patient’s back. The second incision is made for the surgical instruments that are used to perform the discectomy. The physician then carefully approaches the spine and removes bone fragments and parts of the herniated disc to decompress the affected nerves. Once the bone fragments have been removed, the incisions will be closed, and the patient will then be sent to a separate room to recover.
After the procedure, the two incisions are covered with small bandages or dressings and the patient is taken to a room where he or she will be monitored. Because of the minimally invasive techniques used during the surgery, patients should be able to leave the hospital that same day. Once at home, all post-operative instructions should be followed closely, and the patient should call Orthopedic and Wellness if they develop any questions or concerns. Patients may need to begin a physical therapy regimen to regain full range of motion in the spine. Generally speaking, patients will need a few days to recover from the surgery, but overall, patients can resume day-to-day activities as soon as they feel ready. Strenuous activities should be avoided until they are cleared by a physician. Patients may be asked to return for follow-up appointments with the physician to monitor the success of the surgery.