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underlying bone. More recently, orthopedic surgeons have used tubular retractors and a microscope to perform less invasive operations, but they still require open dissection of the tissue, leading to soft tissue destruction, denervation, and longer periods of postoperative pain and recovery.

A breakthrough method debuted at NYU Langone Health in 2022, called dual portal endoscopic spine surgery, is a “game changer” for minimally invasive techniques, says Yong H. Kim, MD, director of the degenerative spine service in the Division of Spine Surgery. Like endoscopic knee surgery, it requires only two tiny incisions for a camera and surgical tools, minimizing pain and recovery times.

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