Endoscopic Spinal Surgery

Endoscopic spinal surgery has been described as “the next level of minimally invasive care”. It is an ultra-minimally invasive surgical technique used to treat various spinal conditions.

It involves the use of a high-definition endoscope, which is a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera at the tip, to access and operate on the spine through small incisions (usually less than 1cm). This approach offers several advantages over traditional open spinal surgery, including smaller incisions and reduced muscle damage, which means fewer biomechanical alterations, thus shorter recovery times, and potentially less post-operative pain.


Here are some key aspects of endoscopic spinal surgery

Endoscopic spinal surgery can be used to treat a range of spinal conditions, including herniated discs, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, spinal infections, and some spinal tumors. It is often considered for cases where conservative treatments have failed to provide relief.

During the procedure, the surgeon makes small incisions near the affected area of the spine. The endoscope is then inserted through these incisions, providing a clear view of the spinal structures on a monitor. Surgical instruments are passed through the endoscope to perform the necessary spinal repairs, such as removing herniated disc material or decompressing nerve roots.

Compared to traditional open spinal surgery, endoscopic surgery minimises the disruption to surrounding muscles, ligaments, and tissues. This results in less tissue damage and a reduced risk of complications.

Patients who undergo endoscopic spinal surgery often experience shorter hospital stays and faster recovery times compared to those who have open surgery. Many people can return to normal activities sooner.

Since the procedure is less invasive, patients typically experience less post-operative pain, which may reduce the need for strong pain medications.

Depending on the complexity of the surgery and the patient’s overall health, endoscopic spinal surgery may be performed on an outpatient basis or require a short hospital stay.

Like any surgical procedure, endoscopic spinal surgery carries some risks, including infection, bleeding, nerve damage, or failure to relieve symptoms. However, the overall complication rate is typically lower than with open surgery.

Endoscopic spinal surgery requires specialised training and expertise. Patients should seek out a skilled and experienced surgeon who is familiar with this technique. Dr Parkinson has significant experience performing minimally invasive, endoscopic spinal surgery.

Not all patients are suitable candidates for endoscopic spinal surgery. The decision to undergo this procedure should be made after a thorough evaluation by a neurosurgeon who can determine if it is the most appropriate treatment option.

Endoscopic spinal surgery has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its potential benefits in terms of reduced pain and faster recovery.

 However, the suitability of this approach depends on the specific spinal condition and the patient’s individual circumstances. Patients considering this procedure should consult with a qualified neurosurgeon to discuss their options and develop a personalised treatment plan.

A/Prof Richard Parkinson


Neurosurgeon & Spine Surgeon with 25+ Years Experience

A/Prof Richard Parkinson performs surgery at Sydney’s leading private hospitals.

He consults and operates from Sydney’s most advanced neurosurgical and spinal surgery hospitals, including St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Prince of Wales Private Hospital and The Mater Hospital.

These hospitals offer the latest neurosurgical facilities, including cutting-edge imaging equipment and surgical navigation systems, dedicated and well-trained theatre clinical staff, as well as post-surgical rehabilitation specialists.

A/Prof Parkinson’s areas of expertise include surgery of the entire spinal column, scoliosis surgery, peripheral nerve surgery, as well as physical rehabilitation of athletes that have suffered a brain or spine injury.

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