Endoscopic Discectomy

Endoscopic Discectomy

An Endoscopic Discectomy is an outpatient procedure for treating lower back and leg pain. Bulging, protruding or herniated discs can cause back pain and leg pain. An Endoscopic Discectomy is a minimally-invasive technique in which a small incision is made through the skin. A small amount of the inner tissues of a bulging disc is removed, providing patients with much-needed relief with minimal discomfort and inconvenience.


  • The nerves that originate from the spinal cord pass by the intervertebral discs. Intervertebral disc are soft discs found between the vertebrae and cushion them during movement. If a disc tears, chemicals inside may leak out. This can irritate the nerve roots and cause pain. When these nerves are irritated, they can cause pain in the lower back that goes down the legs.


  • If you have pain in your lower back when you move, you may have lumbar disc and dural inflammation. If pain travels to your legs, you may have nerve root inflammation.


  • The common tests that are usually done include such as x-rays or MRIs which may show disc bulges and nerve root compression. An Endoscopic Discectomy may provide relief if disc problems, or dural, or nerve root inflammation are causing your pain.


    • During the procedure
    • The physician numbs your skin with local anesthetic. Under X-ray guidance, a small endoscopic tube in inserted and it is through this tube that the entire procedure is performed. Through the endoscopic tube, instruments are manipulated as the procedure is viewed through a microscope. Once the protruding disc is located, a needle is inserted directly into the disc’s membrane and reduces the volume of its nucleus. An instrument threaded through the interior of the needle is used to remove small bits of tissue from within the disc. This will release the pressure from nearby nerve roots in herniated or bulging discs.
      After the procedure
    • You will be monitored for a half an hour after the Endoscopic Discectomy. When you are ready to leave, the staff will give you discharge instructions.
    • You may feel immediate pain relief and numbness in your lower back and legs for a period of time after the procedure. Your pain may return after this short pain-free period, or may even be a little worse for a day or two.
    • You should take it easy for the rest of the day. You may feel sore for a few days.
      How long will pain relief last?
    • The extent and duration of pain relief may depend on the amount of disc, dural or nerve root inflammation. Other coexisting factors may be responsible for your pain.
    • Sometimes the procedure brings several weeks to months of pain relief, but further treatment may be needed.