The spinal column is one of the most important parts of our body. It provides support and allows us to stand upright, bend and twist.33 individual bones interlock with each other to form the spinal column. All the vertebrae are numbered and divided into regions.
C1-C7, called as cervical vertebrae form the neck. They provide support for our head and allows us to -knod- and shake our head.
T1-T12, form a group of 12 vertebrae that are joined by ribs to form the “rib cage”.
L1-L5, these vertebrae carry the most of our body weight and provide a stable center of gravity when we move.Five vertebrae of the Sacrum and four of Coccyx are fused and make the back wall of our pelvis.
Between each of the mobile vertebra are located the intervertebral discs. Intervertebral discs consist of thick outer layer with crisscrossing fibrous structure that surround the soft gel-like center called The Nucleus. Each disc has the function to serve as shock-absorbing springs.
The Annulus pulls the vertebrae bodies together against the elastic resistance of jel-filled nucleus.
When you bend, The Nucleus allows the vertebral bodies to roll over the incompressible gel.
The biomechanical function of each pair of facet joins is to guide and limit movement of the spinal motion segment.
The surfaces of the joints are wrapped with cartilage that help each joint move smoothely.
Directly behind the discs, the ring like vertebral bodies form the Spinal Canal.
The spinal cord and spinal nerves pass through the canal, which protects them from damage and injury.
The spinal cord, which is the major column of nerve tissue and it is connected to the brain. That makes the spinal cord serve as an information super-highway between the brain and the body.
The nerves in spinal cord branch off to form pairs of nerve roots that travel through intervertebral foramens.
As a disc degenerates and breaks down, the inner core can leak out through the outer portion of the disc.
The condition is known as a Disc Herniation, which puts direct pressure on the nerve.
These are the symptoms of lumbar herniated discs:
– low back pain
– legs and buttock pain
– leg numbness and tingling
Endoscopic Lumbar Discectomy is the minimaly invasive procedure to treat lumbar herniated disc.
The process works as described:
First a thin guide wire is placed, under X-Ray control, down to the involved level of the spine.
A tapered dilator is inserted over the guid wire. Then, a small tube is inserted over the dilator and creates a portal to the herniated disc. The endoscope is placed through the tube and the discectomy is performed.
Using special microsurgical tools the surgeon can microsurgicaly remove the herniation by relieving the nerve root compression.
And finally watch the video to learn the advantages of Endoscopic Lumbar Discectomy:
Text and video credit: AnatomYoga