For some patients with foraminal stenosis, a new endoscopic approach is an option. The incision size for this approach less than 10 mm and a real endoscope is used to remove disc and ligamentous material compressing the exiting nerve within the foramen.
Recently there has been interest towards using lasers to shrink disc material rather than removing it mechanically. Lasers are commonly used in medicine to burn tissue such as in retina surgery for retinal detachments and hepatic surgery for coagulation. Laser surgery also has been used in neurosurgery for delicate tumor resection in the brain and within the spinal cord.
For spinal disc surgery, lasers are one of several methods to burn or cauterize tissue. Lasers can shrink disc material and soft tissue, but they cannot remove bone spurs and bony overgrowth. Also lasers cannot bend around corners. In contrast micro-discectomy surgery through small tubes allow bone spurs and overgrowths to be removed by a precision drill. Additionally specialized curved instruments allow removal of tissue around the corner at the end of the tubes, thus expanding the reach of the surgical decompression beyond the diameter of the tube and the small incision.
If you have been recommended for a spinal fusion, Dr. Hua also performs spinal fusion in the lumbar spine through a dime sized incision. Please follow the Dime Sized Incision Fusion Link below for more information.
If you are having back or leg pain, visit the Contact Us for options to discuss your situation with Dr. Hua either as your first evaluation or as a second opinion. We can even review your MRI scans through the internet or by phone. The phone or online consultation is secure and confidential and can be conducted from the comforts of your home. If you would like to see Dr. Hua in person, Dr. Hua has offices located in the San Francisco Bay area.
Many patients say that Sciatica pain is worse than Childbirth. This pain can be relieved by a simple surgery through a tiny incision. Dr. Hua performs this Microscopic Discectomy surgery through an incision smaller than a dime through a small tube and a microscope. This incision size is about the size of some endoscopic or laproscopic surgical incisions. In some cases a true endoscopic approach is an option for patients with foraminal stenosis through incisions smaller than a half inch (10mm).