Is Endoscopic Spine Surgery an Intervention or a Surgery?

Guy with neck pain

Is Endoscopic Spine Surgery an Intervention or a Surgery?

I was at the endoscopic spine surgery breakout session at the 2022 annual ASIPP meeting in Las Vegas a couple weeks ago and one of the panelists was trying to make a differentiation between an “intervention” and a “surgery”. The implication was that a surgery was somehow more than an intervention, but I’m not sure that is the case.

I quote from the Florida Medical Clinic 

“Interventional pain management is a method which utilizes pain blocking techniques to help make day-to-day activities less difficult, and effectively restore quality of life for patients. Surgery, electrostimulation, nerve blocks or implantable drug delivery systems may be used as part of the treatment process.” 

As you can see, interventional pain management is a method and a method can include a procedure, process or plan for doing something, and this includes surgery. There is no mention of what type of surgery should be included or excluded. 

This suggests to me that endoscopic spine surgery can (and should) be included in the meaning of Interventional Pain management. When patients come to see us with a painful condition, our job is to correctly make the diagnosis of the cause of pain and then treat it as definitively as possible. I believe that is what you or I would want if we were visiting an Interventional Pain Management doctor. 

When there is a surgery that is easy to perform, with such good long term results as an endoscopic rhizotomy, I believe that you should be offering it to your patients. Make this part of your interventional practice.


Onward and Upward

Dr. Tony Mork

Endoscopic Spine Specialist