Endoscopic spine surgery at a 'tipping point'


The endoscopic spine surgery technique has been slower to catch on in the U.S. than other countries. But the last 24 months have brought about meaningful change, according to one of the leaders on the forefront of the technique.

"I have been diligently working in this area for almost 20 years, but in the last two years, I have noticed a palpable change in the environment," said Choll Kim, MD, PhD, a spine surgeon at Excel Spine in San Diego. "There is now a small cadre of young spine surgeons who have embraced this technology, and have become evangelists."

More companies are developing endoscopic spine surgery technology for a less invasive procedure, with physicians and surgeons across the U.S. excited to integrate them into their practices. Surgeons are now performing 3D navigation-guided endoscopic lumbar fusion as well as endoscopic transforaminal lumbar interbody fusions, in addition to standard decompressions and discectomies.

"The field of endoscopic spine surgery is on the verge of a tipping point, and will soon be like knee and shoulder arthroscopy," said Dr. Kim. "Everything, everywhere, all at once."

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