The spine is made up of individual bones called vertebrae, which are separated by rubbery cushions called discs. Each vertebra is composed of a vertebral body at the front and two facet joints, one on each side, at the rear. The facet joints link the stacked vertebrae together forming a tunnel called the spinal canal. The spinal cord is the nerve center of the body and passes through this wide opening, exiting through small openings in the canal called foramen.
Laser Endoscopic Spine Surgery
Laser Endoscopic Spine Surgery (LESS) is a state-of-the-art minimally invasive procedure. A 1 cm incision is made to allow an endoscope to enter the spine through the neuroforamen avoiding injury to the multifidus muscle and any bone removal. A laser and a radiofrequency probe are directed through an endoscope to vaporize disc fragments. The tiny incision is covered with a regular bandaid.
LESS effectively treats herniated discs, annular tears, radiculopathy, and sciatica. Non-operative treatments such as physical therapy and injections are often recommended first to verify the need for surgery.
Most patients are walking within 1 hour after surgery and go home the same day with no overnight hospital stay. Patients resume a physical therapy program 2 weeks after surgery and return to work 1-4 weeks after surgery, depending on the physical demands of their job.