Full Endoscopic Spinal Surgery Techniques: Advancements, Indications, and Outcomes


Advancements in both surgical instrumentation and full endoscopic spine techniques have resulted in positive clinical outcomes in the treatment of cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine pathologies. Endoscopic techniques impart minimal approach related disruption of non-pathologic spinal anatomy and function while concurrently maximizing functional visualization and correction of pathological tissues. An advanced understanding of the applicable functional neuroanatomy, in particular the neuroforamen, is essential for successful outcomes. Additionally, an understanding of the varying types of disc prolapse pathology in relation to the neuroforamen will result in more optimal surgical outcomes. Indications for lumbar endoscopic spine surgery include disc herniations, spinal stenosis, infections, medial branch rhizotomy, and interbody fusion. Limitations are based on both non spine and spine related findings. A high riding iliac wing, a more posteriorly located retroperitoneal cavity, an overly distal or proximally migrated herniated disc are all relative contra-indications to lumbar endoscopic spinal surgery techniques.

Modifications in scope size and visual field of view angulation have enabled both anterior and posterior cervical decompression. Endoscopic burrs, electrocautery, and focused laser technology allow for the least invasive spinal surgical techniques in all age groups and across varying body habitus. Complications include among others, dural tears, dysesthsia, nerve injury, and infection.

Endoscopic Spine Surgery, History, Lumbar, Techniques
Volume 9 Article 17