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Epiduroscopy is the placement of an endoscope from the tailbone into the spine to assist in breaking up epidural scar tissue (adhesions) in the lower lumbar spine. The scar tissue is composed of fibrous bands which may be viewed directly through the endoscope and broken up mechanically, chemically, or even with a laser fired through the endoscope.
If you have lower back pain, with or without radiation to one or both legs, that has not responded to other means of treatment then your pain physician may decide to perform an epiduroscopy on you
The treatment will take place in a day-care centre.
You will be asked not to eat or drink after midnight on the day before treatment.
After you have reported to the surgical day-care centre, you will be escorted to the operating theatre. There, you will be placed on a bed and prepared for epiduroscopy. After a drip has been inserted and the necessary monitoring equipment (heart rate, blood pressure) put in place, you will be asked to lie on your stomach. The treatment is performed under local anaesthesia, possibly with the addition of a mild sedative to ensure that you are calm and relaxed. A scope will be inserted after a local anaesthetic has been applied at the level of the coccyx. During the procedure, you will sometimes be asked questions. You will also be asked to report immediately report if you feel anything, such as a headache or neck pain. The treatment will takes approximately one hour. On the day of treatment, you should take it easy and are advised not to drive for the first 24 hours after treatment.
As in the case of all examinations/treatments, epiduroscopy can cause side effects. The most serious of these occur during or directly after treatment. During treatment, you may experience complaints such as headache, neck pain or pins and needles in the legs. If the complaints become serious, treatment will be halted. After the procedure, you may feel side effects when you are seated. About 10% of patients experience temporary headaches. Infection and bleeding after the procedure are rare.
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