Spinal endoscopy is a procedure in which a small endoscope is passed up through the tailbone into the epidural space. This allows for direct video imaging of the inside of the spinal canal. Spinal endoscopy is also known as epiduroscopy because the endoscope is looking into the epidural space.
During a spinal endoscopy, an attempt to remove some of the scar tissue or adhesions from around trapped nerves. The spinal endoscopy may allow medications to better reach the affected areas, especially the spinal nerve roots.
Spinal endoscopy is most often used in patients who have had prior lumbar spine surgery. Most of these patients have MRI or other X-ray evidence of scarring. On some occasions, patients who have not had back surgery but have not responded well to other treatments might also under spinal endoscopy.
Spinal endoscopy is typically used only when other, more conservative treatments have not been effective.