By: 4 February 2021
Dr Kern Singh takes spine surgery to the next level

Dr. Kern Singh of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush is one of a few spine surgeons in the Midwest performing endoscopic minimally invasive spinal surgery. This new, ultra-minimally invasive technique allows a surgeon to view a patient’s spine anatomy through a tiny camera inserted through an incision approximately seven millimetres in diameter (half the size of a penny). Performed on an outpatient basis, patients are typically awake during surgery and leave the surgery centre walking on their own one hour after the procedure. View video here.

“This is truly the next generation of spine surgery,” explains Dr. Singh. “I’ve been performing minimally invasive spine surgery for 13 years and now with the endoscopic procedure, my patients are out of the surgery centre in usually half the time.”

Other patient benefits of the endoscopic technique compared to regular minimally invasive surgery include:  almost no bleeding, no narcotics after the surgery, no need for general anaesthesia, and an even faster recovery.

“Being able to provide this procedure to my patients means I can deliver them pain relief in an even safer manner,” Dr. Singh says.

For Joe Deakin, 56, of Cedar Lake, IN, his recent endoscopic discectomy procedure was easy and life changing.

“I had a bad herniated disk and was having trouble doing most everything without pain,” he says. “The day after my endoscopic spine surgery, I walked 6,000 steps with my wife around my neighbourhood and I’m ready to get back to my life 100%.”

Prior to surgery, the patient is administered a local anaesthetic to block pain. Then, a seven millimetre or smaller incision is made in the skin. Through the incision, a camera about the width of a pencil is inserted toward the targeted area of the spine. The endoscope gently moves aside the muscle and soft tissue around the diseased area of the spine. The camera projects real-time images onto a monitor viewable to the surgeon which guides him or her during the surgical procedure. Patients are typically awake and talking during the surgery.


Source: Midwest University at Rush