There are many forms of spinal surgery available today. Many forms of surgery are referred to as minimally invasive, although there are various degrees of being minimally invasive. Our underlying philosophy, the fourth pillar in the effective treatment of spinal pain, dictates that when we perform surgery it must be the most minimally invasive form of surgery available that can provide an effective result.
Endoscopic surgery is able to be performed through a tiny incision, often less than 1 cm. Dr. Rappard's incisions are commonly the size of the fingernail on his pinky. Through this tiny incision a tube is placed which enters the treatment area of the spine. Conventional surgery relies on a long incision so that the surgeon may look through the incision and into the treatment area. In endoscopic surgery the surgeon attaches a camera to the tube allowing the tip of the camera to be at the treatment site. This is like the surgeon having his eyeball on the treatment site instead of having to look through a large incision. The visualization for the surgeon is often better than when using the naked eye, magnifying glasses or a microscope. This allows the surgery to be performed effectively.
Besides allowing an effective surgery, the lack of a large incision and the use of a small tube means that the collateral damage associated with most common forms of surgery does not occur. There is no unnecessary cutting of muscle, ligaments or removal of bone and joints. This results in an effective treatment with a very rapid recovery.