Percutaneous endoscopic removal of an intervertebral disc fragment

Percutaneous endoscopic removal of an intervertebral disc fragment – advanced minimally invasive and endoscopic procedures are most often performed in patients with chronic back pain caused by certain types of herniated intervertebral discs. Intervertebral disc herniation can manifest as a loss of sensitivity or even immobility of the limb. Such patients do not experience long-term improvement after periradicular therapy (PRT) and have findings on MRI.

How does the procedure work?

Under X-ray guidance, a special needle is inserted to the spine (most often laterally, i.e. from the side through the foramen intervertebrale), creating a working channel. An endoscopic camera (endoscope) and a set of surgical instruments are then introduced. The inserted endoscope shows how much the herniated disc presses on the nerve root. During continuous visualization, the herniated disc is then removed with special endoscopic instruments. The disc is finally treated with thermal radiofrequency, which closes up the back ring of the damaged disc in the posterior intervertebral disc segment. The aim is to reduce the risk of re-herniation and to remove the focus of the pain and pathological nerve structures around the disc. 

  • Procedure without hospitalization
  • Performed under local and light anesthesia (analgesia)
  • Duration of the procedure: from 40 to 90 minutes

What happens after the procedure

  • After the procedure, the patient stays in a special resting room for about 120 minutes to rest and then can return home accompanied by another person.
  • After the procedure, the patient will receive a medical report, where we recommend a 4-6 weeks sick-leave (issued by a general practitioner).
  • It is not possible to drive a car in person after the performance – it is necessary to ensure the patient has someone else to drive them, ideally for the patient to be in the passenger seat with the seat folded back.
  • For the first 1-2 days it is recommended to stay in bed, with limited sitting and standing, and during the first week a rest-regime.
  • From the 7th day after the operation, the patient enters the postoperative mode with movement recommendations, exercise and physiotherapy.
  • Return to normal activities and work is very individual. It depends on the patient’s health condition, the process of soft tissue healing, type of employment, etc. This is usually 4 to 6 weeks after the procedure.
  • We will contact you by phone in 24 hours and 14 days after the procedure.
  • Post-op check-up of your health condition at our clinics will take place 5-8 weeks after the operation.

How recovery takes place

The goal of treatment is to achieve relief from back pain by removing or reducing its intensity and thus improve the patient’s quality of life. During recovery, it is necessary to actively participate in the programme of postoperative and physical measures, which will help you recover faster and return to normal life. Your doctor will instruct you in detail about these measures immediately after the procedure. A “hotline” is available for patients immediately after the endoscopic surgery, where you can contact a specialist nurse with any questions.

Diagnostic procedure

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