Cervical Endoscopic Decompression
This minimally invasive, outpatient procedure is typically used to treat a herniated disc or spinal stenosis. Through the use of an endoscope, a small surgical tool which provides surgeons access to small cavities in the body, your surgeon is able to avoid unnecessary damage to surrounding muscles and bones. When patients experience severe arm or neck pain, numbness, or pressure, it may be caused by pinching or pressure on the nerves in the spine.
Your surgeon at South Florida Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine will begin by using nonsurgical options to alleviate neck and arm pain. If conservative treatments are unsuccessful, cervical endoscopic decompression surgery may be recommended.
A majority of patients experience a significant reduction in pain following an endoscopic decompression.
What is a Cervical Endoscopic Decompression?
Through a small incision in the back of the neck, your surgeon will insert small surgical tools, including a light and camera, to access the affected vertebrae. The nerve root will be repositioned to allow access to the herniated disc. The discs in the spine between vertebrae are composed of a tougher exterior and a jelly-like center to prevent the bones from rubbing. A herniated disc occurs when the soft center of the disc begins to expand, pushing through the tougher exterior and placing pressure on the nerve roots. Your surgeon will remove the protruding portions of the disc allowing the nerve root to return to its normal position. If the pressure is caused by spinal stenosis, the procedure will include shaving or removal of protruding bones in the spine.
Result and Recovery
With the use of small surgical tools to access the spine, your surgeon is able to avoid damaging or impact surrounding muscles or bones allowing patients to return home once surgery is complete. A majority of patients experience immediate relief from pain and pressure in the neck and arms. In some cases, your surgeon may recommend physical therapy to improve neck range of motion.
Most patients are able to return to their normal activities one week following surgery and will make a full recovery within three to six weeks.