When a patient has been told they need spinal decompression surgery, it can feel overwhelming and intimidating. Surgery is not something most people would choose if given an option, but it is sometimes the only way they have a shot at reducing or even completely removing the pain they are constantly in.
Luckily, there’s hope for an even better outcome.
What Exactly Is Endoscopic-assisted Lumbar Decompression Surgery?
Endoscopic-assisted lumbar decompression surgery is a type of surgery that is considered to be minimally invasive, and it is the standard of care to treat the type of pain people have when the discs in the spine compress the nerves. It is the first surgical option doctors generally choose after non-surgical treatment for their patients has failed.
A New Study Shows Promising Results…
A recent article in The Journal of Clinical Medicine published the results of a multi-year study performed by Solomon Kamson, MD, Ph.D, founder of the Spine Institute Northwest. The study took a look at orthobiologic supplementation when it was used during endoscopic-assisted lumbar decompression surgery. The orthobiologic supplementation types included in the study were ADP (amniotic-derived products) and BMA (bone marrow aspiration), both known to stimulate healing.
How Was The Study Performed?
The study, conducted from January 2011 and October 2017, followed 269 patients between the ages of 16 and 69. These patients mostly had a diagnosis of lumbar degenerative disc disease, although a few had other clinical presentations like central canal stenosis. The patient must have failed non-surgical treatment for at least 6 months prior to their surgery to be a candidate for the study, and nerve compression had to be confirmed with either a CT or an MRI.
Each patient’s pain level was assessed prior to surgery, using three different pain scales, the VAS (visual analog scale), ODI (Oswestry disability index) and the SF-36 (a 36 question short-form health survey).
The patients who qualified were then placed into four groups prior to surgery – a control group that would not receive orthobiologic supplementation, one that would receive ADP, one that would receive BMA, and one that would receive both. Dr. Kamson was looking to see if the use of that supplementation would help improve pain levels better than surgery alone. For those receiving orthobiologic supplementation, injections were given directly into the surgical site while the patient was still under anesthesia.
What Were The Results of the Study?
Each patient’s pain level was reassessed at 2 weeks, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, and 12 months using the same three scales used pre-surgically.
The end result of the study showed a strong positive correlation between improved pain control and the use of orthobiologic supplementation during endoscopic-assisted lumbar decompression surgery. All patients who received the injections showed a significant improvement in their pain levels versus those that did not receive them.
Therefore, it is strongly suggested that injectable orthobiologics are both safe and effective at minimizing post-surgical pain levels for patients experiencing pain related to spinal nerve compression. This is good news for anyone who needs surgery, and it is recommended that those patients discuss this option with their doctor.
This was a level I evidence-based study and was Solomon Kamson, MD, PH.D.’s original research. It was approved by the Western Institutional Review Board (WIRB).
About the Doctor
Solomon Kamson, MD, Ph.D. is a world-renowned educator and speaker. He has presented his research at both the 1st China Congress on Cervical Spine Endoscopic Technique and the World Congress of the World Federation of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery.
Dr. Kamson is also the author of multiple chapters in books focusing on minimally invasive spine surgery and interventional pain. He has also published studies including “Full Endoscopic Assisted Lumbar Decompressive Surgery Performed in an Outpatient, Ambulatory Facility: Report of 5 Years of Complications and Risk Factors” and “Full-Endoscopic Lumbar Fusion Outcomes in Patients with Minimal Deformities: A Retrospective Study of Data Collected Between 2011 and 2015.”
He is also the founder of the Spine Institute Northwest (a laser spine surgery center), with offices in Bothell and Tacoma, Washington. The facility has earned the Excellence in Pain Practice Award for Comprehensive Multidisciplinary Pain Practice, which is the highest honor that can be awarded by the World Institute of Pain.