Full Endoscopic Lateral Recess Stenosis Decompression

Lateral recess stenosis is a common degenerative disorder of the spine in elderly people. Age-related changes lead to narrowing and obstruction of the lateral recess, a central passage space located within the spinal canal. This leads to impingement of the surrounding spinal nerve roots causing pain and other related symptoms.

The advancement of treatments has led to recent developments of endoscopic decompression techniques for lateral recess stenosis. They involve enlargement of the foramen and resection of the lamina for decompressing the nerve roots to relieve pain. 

Types of Lateral recess stenosis decompression

  • Percutaneous endoscopic transforaminal decompression: The transforaminal approach is performed under local anesthesia to achieve significant amount of horizontal decompression from the foramen to intraspinal region.
  • Interlaminar endoscopic decompression: The interlaminar approach is generally performed under general anesthesia or epidural anesthesia which is a more feasible technique for lateral and central canal stenosis.


Majority of patients are discharged on the same day of the surgery with symptomatic relief after the procedure. Studies have shown that the clinical outcomes of endoscopic decompression were similar to that of open decompression surgeries. Complete recovery may take about four to six weeks on an average.

Most patients can return to their normal routine within few weeks after the surgery, however they will be required to follow certain instructions provided by their surgeon regarding physical activity and medications.

Advantages of endoscopic lateral recess stenosis decompression

A number of studies have shown that endoscopic percutaneous endoscopic transforaminal decompression for lateral recess stenosis was effective in both elderly and younger patients. The following are some advantages of endoscopic lateral recess stenosis decompression:

  • Smaller size of incision
  • Minimal damage to internal tissues
  • Short rehabilitation period
  • Shorter operation time
  • Lesser intraoperative radiation exposure
  • Considerable amount of benefit for elderly patients with higher rates of comorbidities.
  • Avoids excessive bone removal
  • Reduced risk of intraoperative complications.
  • Preservation of anatomical structure.


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