According to a recent article in the Good Health section of The Mail, consultant spinal neurosurgeon at King’s College Hospital Foundation Trust in London is performing the latest key- hole endoscopic spine surgery.
This type of procedure can be used for a number of spinal problems including prolapses, chronic back pain, sciatica and nerve root problems.
Only a small 5mm incision is made in the back, 10 cm to the side of the spine, and a small specially designed endoscope is guided through the skin with the help of x rays to the damaged disc, which is then sorted out.
The procedure only takes about an hour with no stitches, just a plaster simply put over the cut. They say patients feel little pain and go home with simple paracetamol. Most can walk straight away and go home within two hours. The procedure is done on a day case basis so then saving beds for more urgent cases. The success rate is about the same as big open back surgery but obviously carries very few risks.
However, at the moment only a few surgeons offer this technique because it requires specialist training.
This is the first operation that I have seen available for people like myself who still have a lot of pain even after spinal surgery.
I am seeing my doctor on Monday, and will be enquiring about if there is any way that I could get a referral to London to see this specialist. At the end of the day if you don’t ask you won’t get so what can I loose.