What is Endoscopic Discectomy?

How Can Back Pain Be Treated With Endoscopic Discectomy?

Back pain (pain in the lumbar spine) is an annoying condition (symptom) that affects 90% of the adult population at some point in their lives. 50% of the patients report more than one incident of back pain.

It must be mentioned that back pain is a general symptom that can be due to various causes and its treatment involves several medical specialties.

We note that back pain is the most common cause of visits to both private practice and emergency hospital departments.

One of the most common causes of back pain is intervertebral disc herniation. The intervertebral disc is a “special structure” between two vertebrae comprised centrally by the nucleus pulposus and peripherally by the annulus fibrosus. Its utility is to act as a “shock absorber” by absorbing vibrations during spine movements. Intervertebral disc herniation is the projection (displacement) of a portion of the central nucleus pulposus to the periphery. This results in the projection of the annulus fibrosus and the formation of a hernia, which most often presses on a nerve so that in addition to back pain, there is pain in the path of the compressed nerve to a lower extremity.

When conservative therapies fail (rest, medication and physiotherapy) and there are recurrent lumbar pain exacerbations or a foot begins to paralyze or there is urinary disturbance, the hernia should be removed immediately.

The latest revolution in intervertebral disc herniation is endoscopic discectomy.


What is endoscopic discectomy?

It is an atraumatic method of removing the intervertebral disc herniation, under local anesthesia, with the help of X-ray guidance and special endoscopic tools (similar to knee arthroscopy). This method can also remove a damaged disc or an osteophyte.

Ενδοσκοπική Δισκεκτομή


How long does the procedure last?

Approximately 45 to 60 minutes (depending on the size and location of the hernia).


Is blood transfusion necessary?

No blood transfusion is required.

What type of anesthesia is required?

It is performed under local anesthesia.


The incision performed is large or small?

There is no incision; just a one-inch “hole” is created enough for the endoscope to be inserted. One of the main advantages of the method is that no surgical incision is performed with concurrent muscle injury.


How long should I stay in the clinic?

Endoscopic discectomy is an outpatient procedure and the patient is discharge two to three hours after surgery.


How long after the operation do the symptoms of hernia disappear?

Usually the disappearance of symptoms (MAINLY OF PAIN) is immediate.


Will I walk immediately after surgery? When do I return to my daily activities?

After endoscopic discectomy, the patient gets up and walks almost immediately, shortly after being transferred to his/her bed.

Return to normal activities is permitted one to four days after surgery.

Patients undergoing endoscopic discectomy usually return to work after two days.


How will I know whether or not I can undergo endoscopic discectomy?

This will be decided after consultation with the orthopedist who will perform clinical evaluation, as well as evaluation of imaging examinations, e.g., magnetic resonance imaging, electromyography etc.


What are the advantages of endoscopic discectomy compared to traditional open surgery?

It is an atraumatic method, i.e. there is no surgical incision with muscle injury, as in the traditional method.

It is performed under local anesthesia.

There is no blood loss – no blood transfusion is required.

Much lower rate of infections.

It is an operation with no hospitalization.