News Updates

May 25, 2024
Arthrex Endoscopic Spine System Providing Pittsburgh-Area Patients with Top-Tier Care

Allegheny Health Network expands minimally invasive spinal surgery program utilizing Arthrex technology

Arthrex, global leader in minimally invasive surgical technology, is proud to support the expansion of Allegheny Health Network’s (AHN) endoscopic spine surgery program to AHN Wexford Hospital in Wexford, Pennsylvania, less than 20 miles north of downtown Pittsburgh. AHN recently integrated the Arthrex endoscopic spine system, which provides innovative visualization options, delivering state-of-the-art camera imaging and high-definition video from around and within the spinal canal during spinal decompression surgery.

As a privately held company for more than 40 years dedicated to its mission of Helping Surgeons Treat Their Patients Better®, Arthrex has pioneered arthroscopic surgery technology with more than 20,000 revolutionary arthroscopic and orthobiologics products that allow surgeons to treat joint pathology in the least invasive way possible—as an outpatient procedure.

Today, Arthrex is applying its accumulated experience and expertise to revolutionize endoscopic and orthobiologics procedures for the spine. Our advanced technology delivers endoscopic image quality never before seen by spine surgeons, opening the door to ultra minimally invasive treatments supported by advanced instrumentation and unparalleled surgical skills training.

Read AHN’s press release below to learn more.

---

(SOURCE: ALLEGHENY HEALTH NETWORK)

Thursday, May 16, 2024

AHN Expands Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery Program to Wexford Hospital

Wexford, PA — Allegheny Health Network (AHN) announced today the expansion of its spinal endoscopy surgery program to AHN Wexford Hospital, marking the hospital’s most recent milestone in providing the highest level of surgical care to patients living north of Pittsburgh. 

AHN Wexford Hospital’s endoscopic spine surgery program, which launched in May, utilizes the latest generation of spinal-endoscope technology, manufactured by Arthrex. The new Arthrex Endoscopic Spine system employs state-of-the-art camera imaging to provide ultra-high-definition video from within the spinal canal during spinal decompression surgery.  

AHN Orthopaedic surgeon Ryan Sauber, MD, first used the Arthrex scope this month to perform lumbar decompression surgery, a procedure that relieves compressed nerves in the lower spine. The surgery aims to improve symptoms such as persistent pain and numbness in the legs caused by pressure on the nerves in the spine.

“This groundbreaking technology is transforming how spine surgeries are performed, offering patients a minimally invasive alternative with shorter recovery times and enhanced surgical precision,” said Dr. Sauber. “This new equipment allows us to accomplish the same procedures that we've been doing for years, but through an even smaller incision, and with less trauma to surrounding tissues. Patients can expect shorter hospital stays, less postoperative pain, and a faster return to normal activities.”

Specialized surgical endoscopes — tube-like instruments that include an exploratory camera and a light source and can be equipped with various surgical tools such as lasers, retractors, and graspers — are commonly used to perform minimally invasive surgeries throughout the body.

But over the last decade, advances in endoscopy instrumentation and visualization technology mean neurosurgeons and Orthopaedic surgeons can use specialized endoscopic systems to perform spinal procedures, as well. Patients experiencing low back pain, sciatica, compressed nerves, spinal bone spurs, or herniated discs might be candidates for endoscopic spinal surgery.

Spinal endoscopes provide surgeons with direct visualization of the spine and its anatomy — without the need for traditional “open” back surgery — via the camera and a high-definition monitor, which displays up-close details of the patient’s spine. Through a tiny, 7mm incision, surgical tools can be steered through the endoscope to remove discs, bone spurs, and other damaged tissue. The endoscopic approach minimizes muscle damage and bone removal, reducing the risk of postoperative complications and accelerating the healing process.

Another advantage of endoscopic spine surgery is its potential to minimize opioid usage in postoperative pain management. By reducing the need for narcotics, patients can experience a more comfortable recovery process while avoiding the risks associated with painkillers.

Less anesthesia also means patients go home sooner. Post-procedure, patients are discharged and home within two hours. Patients are then encouraged to remain active during the recovery process.

“Ultimately, this new technology cuts recovery timeframe in half. Patients can potentially return to jobs or sports much sooner than with more invasive techniques,” Dr. Sauber said. “We are excited to be bringing this surgical program to AHN Wexford, and to be among the first medical centers in the region to adopt this new system.”

AHN Wexford is now the second AHN hospital to offer spinal endoscopic procedures, and the first hospital in the region to utilize the new Arthrex system. This new capability adds to a growing list of neurosurgical programs now offered at AHN Wexford, including minimally invasive fusions and robotic spine surgery. 

“This represents a significant step forward in our commitment to providing world-class, minimally invasive spine care for all of our patients, and especially for those living in communities north of Pittsburgh,” said  Donald Whiting, MD, AHN’s Chief Medical Officer and chair of the AHN Neuroscience Institute.

In addition to the new program at Wexford, AHN utilizes endoscopic technology to treat brain diseases and spinal conditions at Allegheny General Hospital (AGH), and AHN Saint Vincent Hospital utilizes neuro-endoscopy technology to treat brain disorders. 

For more information about endoscopic spine surgery at AHN, please visit https://www.ahn.org/services/neuroscience/treatments/spine-and-back-surgery