How endoscopic spine surgery can transform your practice and boost its bottom line

Alan Condon -  

Over the past two decades, endoscopic spine surgery has increased in popularity as minimally invasive techniques continue to evolve in the industry.

During an Oct. 14 webinar hosted by Becker's Spine Review and sponsored by Endoscopic Spine Academy, Tony Mork, MD, spine surgeon and founder of the company, discussed key features of endoscopic spine surgery and how it can strengthen pain management practices.

Five key takeaways:

1. You don't have to operate in the spinal canal to relieve neck and back pain. Many pain generators causing neck and back pain come from outside the spinal canal, which can be accessed with a 7 mm endoscope, according to Dr. Mork. These pain generators many times come from the facet joint and occasionally the disc. With proper training and instruction, there is little difference between a 2 mm radiofrequency needle and a 7 mm endoscope. 

2. Advantages of endoscopy. The big difference between a radiofrequency needle and an endoscope is what you can see. "You will see a whole new world of pain generators when you start looking inside of a facet joint with an endoscope," Dr. Mork said. An endoscope allows users to see the facet joint, osteophytes, loose bodies and spurs that can act as pain generators, and address them from outside the spinal canal. 

3. Cure pain, rather than manage it with opioids. Endoscopic spine surgery enables physicians to "move toward curing pain, rather than just managing it," which can significantly reduce the use of opioids in your practice, Dr. Mork said. "When you have endoscopy tools, you can actually fix the problem after you make the diagnosis."

4. Enhance your bottom line. Performing one facet surgery per week has the capacity to boost your bottom line by $50,000 annually. "The best part about being a pain specialist is that you already have an abundance of these patients in your practice," Dr. Mork said. All Endoscopic Spine Academy courses are performed in an outpatient setting, resulting in greater financial benefit for ASC physician-owners.

5. Redefine your practice. Endoscopic spine surgery offers pain specialists the chance to stand out from the crowd and expand their treatment options, Dr. Mork said.  The technique can also bring more referrals from local spine surgeons, "because you'll be able to deal with the smaller pain generators that they don't have much interest in treating." 

Click here to learn more about the Endoscopic Spine Academy and here to view the full webinar.

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