This is the gold standard procedure techniques for lumbar discectomy, it is performed by small 5 cm incision directly over the involved disc area and creating an access to the intervertebral disc via the ligamentum flavum and may require removing part of the lamina (Laminotomy) to access the disc space and excise it. The procedure has been modified over the last 20 years and some surgeon use extra equipment to improve visibility like microscope (Microscopic Micro discectomy), or an endoscope (endoscopic Micro discectomy), or simply use eye loops. Whatever is used; the technique is virtually the same. The advantage of using the microscope or the endoscope is that the assistant surgeon will have the same surgical field view so it has an educational advantage. The important thing to realize is that endoscopy screens only show 2 dimensions of the field, but the human eye would be able to see the depth as a third dimension of the surgical field, which would be a technical advantage.
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The endoscopic technique has been reported to have a higher complication rate, with no significant advantage for the patient over the other techniques.
Please follow the links below to read more about the various techniques.
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