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Endoscopic Decompression

Watch this Video to understand the benefits of Endoscopic Spine Surgery vs Open Spine Surgery

Watch this Video to understand Endoscopic Spinal Decompression

Endoscopic Decompression is a minimally invasive, out-patient procedure that will open space around pinched nerves.

Using X-ray guidance (fluoroscopy) a small metal tube, the size of a pencil, is inserted through the skin in to the spinal column. This serves as a passage for an endoscopic camera that allows the doctor live visualization of the spine. With this access, portions of the disc material, bone, and ligaments can then be removed alleviating any pressure or pinching of nerves.

You may be a candidate for decompression if your symptoms include pain, numbness, or weakness of the back and/or legs have been confirmed by an MRI or CT that show disc herniations or ligaments causing stenosis.

Endoscopic Decompression is a minimally invasive procedure with very little blood loss, tissue damage or scar formation. It has a recovery period that is variable depending on the extent of tissue removal that needs to be done. Expect to be sore in the back and or the legs for 1-2 weeks and then to have limitations the doctor will require of you for a month (see instructions below). This is a spine operation thus pain will occur, please plan accordingly to expect this and also have thing organized in your house to make the painful time easier for you.


This is generally a safe procedure yet, as with any surgery, it carries a risk of potential complications such as bleeding, infection, spinal headache, and injury to blood vessels or nerves around the spine.

Please understand this is a surgery and significant pain from healing is normal, even for weeks after the surgery. Please understand this and that you will be given the appropriate pain medications for your pain but the pain will still be significant.


Endoscopic Decompression - Post Operative Instructions


Incision Care: If there is a dressing, you may remove it on the morning after surgery BEFORE you shower. If surgical glue is used expect it will slowly peel off within 14 days. Please call us with any changes or concerns such as:


  • swelling or drainage at incision site

  • temperature greater than 101°

  • Clear liquid drainage in the first 24 hours is normal

Bathing: You may shower the morning or afternoon after surgery; avoid scrubbing the incision site for the first 3 days. No baths or swimming until approved by the physician or physician assistant at your follow up appointment.


For 2 weeks after surgery:

  • No strenuous activity

  • No lifting greater than 10lbs

Exercise: Increase your light activity each day, such as walking, as tolerated.

Driving: You may drive 7 days after the procedure if you feel okay to do so. Do not drive if you are taking pain medications.

Diet: Eat a healthy diet to promote healing.

Smoking: Avoid smoking. Smoking decreases the rate of bone and skin healing and also interferes with the effectiveness of pain medication.

Follow-Up: You may experience soreness in your back for up to 2 weeks. You will have a post-operative appointment approximately 2 weeks after surgery.


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