A Minimally Invasive Alternative to Thoracic Spine Surgery

North American Spine is able to treat conditions of the thoracic spine which cause pain.  Some of these conditions include bulging or herniated discs, including discs that may be degenerative.  All of these pathologies can now be treated with a very minimally invasive outpatient procedure performed under light general anesthesia. 

Who we treat:

Patients who experience pain with or without associated arm pain, weakness, numbness, and tingling may be helped by the thoracic AccuraScope procedure. Prior to this procedure, patients should have attempted more conservative therapies such as physical therapy, chiropractic care, pain medications and epidural steroid injection.

What we do:

The thoracic AccuraScope procedure is performed using local and light general anesthesia.  The patient lies on the table facing down. A small, hollow needle is inserted posteriolaterally into the center of the disc under guided fluoroscopy. A small amount of dye is injected directly into the disc nucleus to test for increased neck/arm discomfort and/or leakage out of the disc. If “positive,” a laser is passed through the needle and fired from within the disc to shrink bulging disc tissue and to seal a herniation. Multiple levels can be treated during the same procedure. Puncture site is covered by an adhesive bandage. Procedure takes less than 30 minutes.

Patients can perform most light normal activities immediately following the procedure. We recommend a course of physical therapy beginning 1-2 weeks post-op.

Advantages of the Thoracic AccuraScope Procedure:

Performed with a needle

No incision, no stitches, decreased risk of infection

Multiple Levels, One Procedure

Other techniques require multiple procedures, charged individually

Superior Diagnostics with dye injection

Greater accuracy than using an MRI alone. Ensures that the disc level(s) we are treating are the ones actually responsible for the pain!

Rapid Recovery

Patients can start PT more quickly, faster recovery with normal use of arms.  Compare with open procedures requiring months of rehab.