The minimally invasive Anterior Cervical Endoscopic Discectomy is employed to alleviate neck and arm pain. The pain is often caused by herniated cervical disc(s) in the front of the neck. A herniated disc often occurs when the structure’s soft center leaks through the outer shell via a small crack. This soft substance then can cause pain by putting pressure on a nerve. When the pressure is intense enough that non-invasive methods like physical therapy, diet, or light exercises do not yield results, then a surgeon may recommend the anterior cervical endoscopic discectomy.
The outpatient procedure, usually performed under IV and local anesthesia and sometimes under general anesthesia, is recommended when extensive bone spurs are present. A bone spur can best be defined as a growth that leaks out along the edges of a bone. Spurs usually occur within or around a joint. This growth can cause pain by putting pressure on a nerve, which then sends pain signals through the body. By applying a small skin puncture on the front of the neck, the surgeon inserts a guide into the disc using x-ray guidance. A working sleeve, suction probe, endoscope and other spinal instruments then follow to allow the surgeon to remove only the bone spurs and the herniated portion (about 10 to 15%) of the disc.
After the anterior cervical endoscopic discectomy, many patients feel immediate relief from their neck pain. Most people can walk out the clinic the same day they take the surgery, although a physical therapy is often recommended after an operation. Normal activity may resume around one to six weeks after surgery depending on the condition. Thanks to the minimally invasive nature of this operation, the surgeon can avoid disrupting muscles nearby the affected area. There is also very little if any permanent scarring after the surgery. The local anaesthetic for the operating area also means a faster recovery than a general anaesthetic that would affect the whole body. For a New Jersey spine surgeon who can address you back pain, contact the Spine Institute for an expert medical analysis today.