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Key Issues and Developments in Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

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Endoscopic spine surgery is evolving rapidly due to improvements in surgical technique, endoscope design and instrumentation. In an experienced surgeon’s hands, the endoscopic foraminal approach can be utilised for most lumbar disc herniations and for the diagnosis and treatment of degenerative conditions of the lumbar spine. The advantage of the foraminal endoscopic technique is the ability to reach, visualise and treat intradiscal and foraminal pathologic lesions without destabilising the posterior muscle column and facets. The learning curve is steep, but, once mastered, the surgeon is able to reach any pathologic lesion in the foramen, including non-contained disc herniations, foraminal stenosis, foraminal osteophytosis, facet cysts and annular tears. Endoscopic spine surgery is positioned to be an integral part of minimally invasive spine surgery.

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