What is Endoscopic Discectomy?

Selective Endoscopic Laser Discectomy is a minimally invasive spinal procedure that is used to treat pain caused by degenerative, bulging and herniated discs. These disc conditions can compress on the spinal nerves producing back, buttock, groin, or leg pain. Symptoms may also include numbness or weakness.

Like the other forms of minimally-invasive back surgery that the Freeman Institute performs, an endoscopic laser discectomy is performed in order to reduce the bone and soft tissue damage associated with more traditional open spinal disc surgery. Instead a small metal tube which serves as a passage for surgical tools and a small camera (endoscope). Using laser-assist technology, these instruments are placed in the spinal area for the removal of damaged disc and  scar tissue. Using X-ray image fluoroscopy and live video feed the physician is able to see the precise location of the damaged disc material.

The endoscopic discectomy procedure is considered a minimally invasive procedure. It requires a small incision and unlike more invasive procedures leaves most posterior spinal structures intact. This minimizes postoperative weakening of the spine resulting in a shorter rehabilitation and faster recovery of function. The procedure is performed on a same-day outpatient basis under local anesthesia in a surgical center setting.


  • Recurring buttock, groin, low back, or leg pain, numbness or weakness.
  • Symptomatic Bulging Discs that do nor respond to conservative care.
  • Pain that has not responded to conservative treatments, i.e. bed rest, pain medication, physical therapy, or muscle relaxants.
  • Herniated disc confirmed by CT Scan, MRI Scan, Enhanced CT Scan, Myelography, or Discography.