Endoscopic Spine Surgery: Navigating the Learning Curve

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Endoscopic Spine Surgery: Navigating the Learning Curve

Endoscopic spine surgery is emerging as an effective intervention for the minimally invasive treatment of symptomatic degenerative disease of the cervical and lumbar spine. There are an increasing number of sound indications for the use of endoscopic techniques, including, but not limited to: extruded and contained disc herniations, annular tears, facets cysts, central, lateral recess, and neuroforaminal stenosis. The same goals of safe and effective decompression of the neural elements with equivalent clinical results can be achieved endoscopically with less tissue disruption, less post-operative pain, and faster recovery than traditional open or microscopic approaches in the hands of well-trained surgeons. Navigating the learning curve is a critical part of the process of adopting endoscopic techniques. A thoughtful plan for the sequential acquisition of endoscopic skills and appropriately graduated technical difficulty of cases increases the likelihood of success.

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