By Dr. Satnam Singh Chhabra, Head Neuro and Spine Department, Sir Gangaram Hospital
In the recent past, there has been a substantial increase in the number of cases related to back problems like a slipped disc, Arthritis, and Bone Spurs of the Spine. But what is the actual reason behind these lumbar problems? Well a number of reasons can be listed like sitting on a chair for several hours throughout the day without any major movement, not exercising enough to keep your bones and muscles active, or in some cases repeatedly lifting heavy stuff can put a major strain on your back.
These ailments are now being treated on a regular basis with the help of various advancements in technology as surgeries have evolved a lot in the last few years. Nowadays, traditional open spine surgery has been put as a last resort rather than for treating every lumbar-related problem.
The safest and most trusted procedure for treating the spine nowadays is considered to be Endoscopic Spine Surgery, which is an ultra-minimal, quarter-of-an-inch invasive surgery done with the help of an endoscope and tubular retractors. The constantly improving state-of-the-art technology has helped provide patients with a quicker recovery time and less recurring pain than traditional spine surgery methods.
Although not every spine-related ailment can be treated with Endoscopic Spine Surgery, the procedure has gained substantial popularity recently as almost 20% of our population is suffering from spine-related ailments at any given point of time. The pain caused in the spine gradually radiates towards the legs and can cause major problems like numbness and can even lead to paraplegia in some worst cases.
As with the major advancements in technology, Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI has become easily available in every part of our country. It is being used as a diagnostic test for spine problems. The imaging in these procedures has evolved and become clearer to help doctors provide the right kind of treatment for the patients.
Endoscopic Spine Surgery has helped provide patients with a more advanced, safer procedure done with small incisions, less strain on the body, a low level of reliability on narcotics post-operative, and without the need for GA. Most ESS procedures are completed within an hour allowing the patient to be discharged in the span of 48-72 hours post-operative and get back up on their feet with less postoperative recovery time.
Generally, people have been very scared of spine surgeries with a fear of getting paralyzed or bedridden, or dependent after the operation. But with these recent advancements, surgeries have become safer and more reliable to treat these spine-related ailments.