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Endoscopic Fusion

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Endoscopic Fusion Quick Facts

How it Works:

  • Very small, under 1-inch incision made near affected area
  • Minimally invasive visualization through an endoscope to access the spine
  • Decompression or stabilization of the spinal nerve causing pain
  • A quick recovery process due to the avoidance of any muscle or tissue cutting

Typical Conditions:

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Herniated Disc(s)
  • Scoliosis or similar type of curvature
  • Spinal injuries or fractures

We treat multiple levels and areas of the spine in a single, quick outpatient session.

Recovery Time*

6-8 weeks

* All recovery periods vary depending on the person or severity of the condition.

Is Endoscopic Fusion Right for Me?

Endoscopic spinal fusion helps to relieve a patient’s chronic pain when more conservative approaches aren’t able to relieve a patient’s symptoms. Dr. Q may recommend this procedure for patients who experience:

  • Spondylolisthesis, a condition that occurs when one vertebra slips forward over another;
  • Spinal instability, as a result of degenerative diseases like arthritis;
  • Spinal deformities;
  • Vertebral fractures

Endoscopic fusion is often performed alongside procedures like a discectomy (disc removal) or after laminectomy or foraminotomy. Q Spine Institute may recommend endoscopic fusion to help with spinal stability in patients who have chronic, debilitating back pain for which no specific cause has been found.

In an endoscopic fusion, an incision is made over the spine, and Dr. Q inserts an endoscope, or tube with a small camera at the end of it, into the surgical area. This allows him to view the affected area and gives them access the spine. A bone graft is then placed between or around the vertebrae, and metal plates, screws or rods are implanted to keep the spine stable. The bone graft material fuses with your spine’s vertebrae over the period of several months.

Am I a Candidate for Endoscopic Fusion?

Endoscopic fusion is a well-established procedure at Q Spine Institute, but is generally only recommended when it’s considered medically necessary to relieve our patients’ symptoms. If your condition cannot be treated with conservative methods like physical therapy and medication, you may want to talk to your doctor about a surgical option for treatment.

Most procedures involve a hospital stay of a couple of days — this ensures that the surgically treated area has a chance to start the healing process. Pain medication may be prescribed to relieve your discomfort, and a brace or soft cervical collar may be used to keep the spine aligned.

Strenuous physical activity is restricted for several weeks after the procedure, and physical therapy is recommended to help restore mobility and strength in the spine. It can take several months for the bone grafts to completely fuse with the rest of your spine.

If you have questions about endoscopic fusion or would like to consult with Dr. Q on your spinal condition, please contact us today to set up an appointment!

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