Over the past few years, I have teamed with a local spine surgeon, Dr. Quartararo to perform endoscopic spine surgery. The procedures are performed by making a small incision in the back. The results of endoscopic surgery of the spine are incredibly positive.
Currently, there are two procedures we perform. In this post we will discuss the endoscopic microdiscetomy. The endoscopic microdiscectomy procedure removes damaged disc material in the spine that is causing pain in the lower back and leg. Removing the disc material is successful in reducing or eliminating pain because it is no longer pressing on the nerve root.
In traditional surgical procedures, a 3-inch or larger incision would be necessary to remove the disc material. With endoscopic microdiscectomy, all that is needed is a tiny 1/2-inch incision. Through that incision, we use a combination of a miniaturized video camera, live x-rays and sophisticated neurological monitoring to successfully remove a tiny piece of the disc. This is accomplished without cutting the surrounding muscle and bone. As a result, the patient is able to go home within a few hours with one or two band-aids on their back.
By minimizing the disturbance to surrounding tissue, postoperative discomfort is reduced and recovery time dramatically shortened. The results have been impressive, we have had patients who have been out of work for 6 – 18 months and are able to return to work after the procedure. We have also had patients who were on narcotic painkillers who are off their medications and have really gotten their life back.
The important thing to remember when it comes to highly specialized surgery, such as endoscopic spine surgery, is that it requires intensive training; not only in endoscopic surgery but also in spine surgery. Patients need to do their research to ensure that their physician is credentialed and experienced in both areas. In the absence of a trained Spine Surgeon on the team, the patient is at great risk in the unlikely event of a complication during or after surgery.
Dr. Siegfried and Dr. Quartararo are highly trained professional physicians who have been educated at some of the nation’s finest universities. Dr. Louis Quartararo is a board-certified Orthopedic Surgeon with advanced training in the fields of Orthopedic Trauma and Spine Surgery from the prestigious John Hopkins University. Dr. Siegfried is a board-certified pain management specialist and former Director of The Pain Management Center at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York. If you are someone you know is suffering from chronic back pain and/or leg pain and would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Siegfried, please call our office at 973.796.5216 to schedule.