Anatomy of Lumbar Spine
Back bone or spine is formed by 33 vertebrae which are placed one over the other. In between the vertebrae there are discs which act as cushions or shock absorber and allow the spine to carry out its daily activities without any rubbings between the vertebrae. These discs consists of a hard circular potion along the periphery of the disc known as annulus fibrosis and a circular area inside the outer area which consists of a jelly like substance and is known as nucleus pulposus. The spine is divided into three major sections. They are the cervical spine, the thoracic spine and the lumbar spine. Sacrum is the bone below the lumbar spine and it is a part of the pelvis.
Lumbar spine consists of 5 vertebrae. Through the holes on the left and right part of the vertebra, spinal nerves exit which communicate with different parts of the body. Due to old age or due to a sudden impulsive pressure experienced by the spine, the disc may break causing cracks on it. Through these cracks, the jell like substance in the inner part of the disc known as nucleus pulposus flows and this is known as hernia of the disc. These discs press against the spinal nerves and causing severe pain in the back near the lumbar spine and in the area where the spinal nerves passing through the area of the damaged disc are catering to.
This pain can be reduced and disease of hernia of discs can be cured to a certain extent by traditional treatments like medication, massaging, physiotherapy, bracing, taking bed rest etc. But in severe cases these methods seems not suitable and the only available solution is surgical rectification.
What is Endoscopic Lumbar Discectomy?
The patient for endoscopic lumbar is brought to the operation theatre after giving intravenous sedation. The endoscope is inserted through an artery through a small incision in skin of the back. Camera at one end of the endoscope is connected to a big screen in the operation room before the surgeon. The patient is asked facing downwards so that his back will be pointing upwards. Through other small incisions the miniature instruments used for the surgery are inserted and guided to the surgery area with the help of the endoscope. Considering the requirements of the case the surgeon either removes herniated disc fragments and the bony spurs or removes the disc bulge or fuses the vertebrae after removing the damaged disc in between them.
Endoscopic procedure is very simple and takes only one hour for completing the entire procedure. Pain in this surgery is very less and can be performed as an outpatient surgical procedure. Associated risks with conventional surgery such as loss of blood, infection formation of scarred tissues etc are very minimal in this case.
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