Are Endoscopic Spine Procedures Safe for Older Adults?


As we age, our bodies undergo various changes, including degeneration of the spine, which can lead to conditions like spinal stenosis, herniated discs, or other spinal issues. For many older adults, these conditions can cause chronic pain and limited mobility, impacting their quality of life. Traditional open spine surgeries have long been the standard treatment for these conditions, but they often come with significant risks and a lengthy recovery period.

In recent years, however, there has been a growing interest in minimally invasive alternatives, such as endoscopic spine procedures, as safer and more effective options, particularly for older adults. But are these procedures safe for older patients? Let’s explore the details and safety of endoscopic spine procedures for older adults.

What Are Endoscopic Spine Procedures?

Endoscopic spine surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a thin, flexible tube with a camera and surgical instruments to access the spine through small incisions. This approach allows surgeons to visualize and treat spinal conditions precisely while minimizing damage to surrounding tissues.

Dr. Puneet Girdhar is a renowned spine surgeon with expertise in endoscopic spine procedures. With years of experience, he has successfully treated numerous patients suffering from spinal conditions using minimally invasive techniques. Dr. Girdhar is highly regarded for his skill in performing these procedures, which results in faster recovery times, less post-operative pain, and excellent patient outcomes.

How Are Endoscopic Spine Procedures Done?

The procedure includes the following steps:

  • The patient is given anesthesia to numb the area or put to sleep
  • A small incision is made in the back
  • A thin tube with a camera, an endoscope, is inserted through the incision
  • The surgeon guides the endoscope to the affected spine area, using the camera to see inside the spine on a screen
  • Small tools, such as a herniated disc, are inserted through the endoscope to remove or repair the problem
  • Once the procedure is complete, the incision is closed with stitches
  • Recovery is typically faster than traditional surgery because the procedure causes less damage to muscles and tissues

How Safe is the Procedure for Older Adults?

One of the primary concerns regarding any surgical procedure, especially for older adults, is the safety profile. Several studies have investigated the safety and efficacy of endoscopic spine procedures in older patients, with promising results.

A study published in the Journal of Neurosurgery Spine found that endoscopic spine surgery was associated with significantly lower complication rates than traditional open surgery in older adults. The study, which included 327 patients over 65, reported a complication rate of only 4.3% for endoscopic procedures, compared to 12.8% for open surgery. These findings suggest that endoscopic spine procedures can be safer for older adults.

Dr. Girdhar emphasizes the importance of considering the safety profile when performing procedures on older adults. He stresses the need for thorough pre-operative assessments to identify any potential risks. He also recommends using appropriate anesthesia techniques and monitoring systems tailored to the patient’s age and health status. Additionally, he highlights the significance of post-operative care in ensuring a smooth recovery and minimizing complications in older adult patients.

What Are the Benefits of Endoscopic Spine Procedures for Older Adults?

There are several benefits of endoscopic spine procedures that make them particularly suitable for older adults:

  • Minimally Invasive: Endoscopic spine procedures require smaller incisions than traditional open surgery, resulting in less tissue damage, reduced blood loss, and faster recovery.
  • Shorter Hospital Stay: Older adults undergoing endoscopic spine procedures typically experience shorter hospital stays, allowing them to return to normal activities sooner.
  • Reduced Risk of Complications: As mentioned earlier, endoscopic spine procedures have been associated with lower complication rates compared to traditional open surgery, making them a safer option for older patients.
  • Improved Quality of Life: By alleviating pain and improving spinal function, endoscopic spine procedures can significantly enhance the quality of life for older adults, allowing them to remain active and independent.

“I had been struggling with back pain for years, and as I was 68 years old, I was worried about undergoing traditional open surgery. When Dr. Girdhar suggested endoscopic spine surgery, I was hesitant at first, but I’m so glad I went through with it. The procedure was quick, and the recovery was much easier than expected. Now, I can enjoy my golden years without constant back pain. Thank you to Dr. Girdhar and his team!”- A satisfied patient of Dr. Girdhar.

“After suffering from spinal stenosis for years, I was starting to lose hope of ever finding relief. Traditional surgery seemed daunting, but then I learned about endoscopic spine procedures. Dr. Girdhar performed the surgery, and I couldn’t be happier with the results. The pain is gone, and I can move around freely again. I highly recommend this procedure to any older adult struggling with spine issues.” – Another patient of Dr. Girdhar expressed their satisfaction.

What is the Cost of Endoscopic Spinal Procedures in India?

Here is a table showing the approximate cost of endoscopic spine procedures in India:

Procedure Cost (INR) Cost (USD)
Endoscopic Discectomy 1,00,000 – 2,00,000 $1,350 – $2,700
Endoscopic Decompression 1,50,000 – 3,00,000 $2,000 – $4,000
Endoscopic Fusion 2,00,000 – 4,00,000 $2,700 – $5,400

These are rough estimates, and actual costs may vary depending on the hospital, surgeon, and specific procedure details. It’s advisable to consult with a healthcare provider or hospital for an accurate estimate.


Endoscopic spine procedures have emerged as a safe and effective treatment option for older adults. These procedures’ minimally invasive nature, lower complication rates, and faster recovery times make them particularly suitable for older patients looking to alleviate pain and improve spinal function. 

However, as with any surgical procedure, patient selection and risk assessment are crucial to ensuring a successful outcome. 


  1. What conditions can be treated with endoscopic spine procedures in older adults?

Endoscopic spine procedures can treat conditions such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease in older adults.

  1. Are there any age limits for undergoing endoscopic spine procedures?

There is no strict age limit, but individual health and medical factors are considered before recommending the procedure for older adults.

  1. What risks are associated with endoscopic spine procedures for older adults?

Risks can include infection, nerve damage, and bleeding, but these are generally lower compared to traditional open surgery.

  1. How long do the benefits of endoscopic spine procedures last for older adults?

The benefits can vary depending on the individual and the condition treated, but many older adults experience long-lasting relief from symptoms.

  1. Can older adults with previous spine surgeries undergo endoscopic spine procedures?

Yes, in some cases, but it depends on the specific circumstances and the type of previous surgery. Consulting with a spine specialist is recommended.

Explore More Blogs: Is Spine Surgery Safer With Robotics?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright by 2024. All rights reserved.

Copyright by BoldThemes 2018. All rights reserved.