Endoscopic Spine Surgery

Endoscopic spine surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that uses micro incisions and specialized tools to address spinal conditions with greater accuracy, more safety and better results.


Endoscopic spine surgery is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that can treat a wide variety of spinal conditions, including herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, facet disease, spondylolisthesis and more.

During the back surgery, Dr. Jae Lim, MD uses an endoscope – a thin, flexible tube with a light and a camera attached to the end – to view the area he’s working on without having to open up large portions of the back. Instead, he makes micro-incisions at the affected area of the spine with minimal muscle and tissue disruption.

This means you can recover faster and get back to regular, active life sooner.

If you’re struggling with chronic pain or limited mobility due to a spinal condition and you haven’t seen improvement with conservative treatments like rest, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication or changes in diet and exercise, endoscopic spine surgery may be able to provide you lasting relief with limited time in the hospital and a shorter recovery period.

As you’re continuing to research options to treat your back pain, we encourage you to reach out to Dr. Jae Lim, MD and our team at Atlantic Brain and Spine in Reston, Virginia with any questions you may have about endoscopy or your specific spinal condition.


With endoscopic spine surgery our neurosurgeon, Dr. Jae Lim, MD, is able to make a much smaller incision with precision accuracy, resulting in less pain, less risk, and a quicker recovery.

Why Should I Choose Atlantic Brain & Spine?

Dr. Jae Lim, M.D., FAAN is well-known throughout the Northern Virginia area as being one of the few neurosurgeons who specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery and has pioneered the use of endoscopic spine surgery and robotic spine surgery technology in the treatment of common spinal conditions. He was named a 2019 Top Doctor in Neurosurgery by the Washingtonian and a 2018 Best Doctor by Northern Virginia Magazine.

But, apart from having the access and the training to use some of the most advanced spinal technology available in the healthcare industry, the key differentiation between Atlantic Brain & Spine and other practices is that surgery is rarely the first recommended course of treatment. On the contrary, our team will work to keep you off the operating table unless it is absolutely necessary. Rather, we'll work with you to find the best treatment for your specific spinal condition, even if it isn't with us.

If you’re interested in learning more about endoscopic spine surgery, please get in touch with our office.

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1. A smaller incision means less pain and a quicker recovery.

Before endoscopic spine surgery technology, surgeons had to open larger areas to see the spine with their naked eyes and operate carefully around the nerve roots that exit from the spinal column. Open spine surgery without endoscopic technology generally requires a 6-inch incision.

In contrast, the average incision size for minimally invasive endoscopic spine surgery is just 1 inch. Dr. Lim creates an opening just large enough to allow his surgical instruments to fit into the body, and nothing more.

It’s important to realize that a surgical incision doesn’t mean just breaking the skin. Instead, a surgeon has to cut through the skin and through the underlying tissue (including muscle) in order to access the affected portion of the body. That’s why a smaller incision results in significantly less pain and lower risk of infection.

2. When there’s no room for error, robotic-assisted accuracy is critical.

With the endoscope, robotic guidance enables Dr. Lim to attain accuracy during surgery that is simply unattainable by the human hand. He can clearly see everything that’s happening where he’s operating without the need for bulky microscopes or other equipment.

Studies have found that surgeons who use robotic guidance are accurate to a degree of 1.5 millimeters. For scale, that’s slightly smaller than the width of a quarter.

This accuracy is absolutely essential when working near the spine. There is simply no room for error when dealing with vital systems.

3. Less anesthesia and intraoperative radiation = reduced risk

Because Dr. Lim is able to work through such a small incision in the back, our patients don’t need as much general anesthesia. And because our team pre-maps out their operation, we don’t need to take as many intra-operative scans.

Complications arising from anesthesia or intraoperative radiation are very rare, but this removes another risk factor from the operation.


If you are suffering from a debilitating or painful spinal condition that has not been corrected through conservative treatments like physical therapy or medication, or your spine specialist has recommended that you undergo spine surgery to address your back pain, you might be a candidate for endoscopic spine surgery.

Candidates typically display the following symptoms:

  • Pain in the back that has not been relieved through conservative treatment (physical therapy, spinal correction, pain management, etc.) or medicationNumbness or tingling in your extremities
  • Weakness in your arms or legs
  • Pain or a burning sensation that radiates through certain areas of your body
  • Trouble standing or walking for long periods of time

Endoscopic spine surgery is specifically designed to treat the effects of chronic or consistent pain in the back that is caused by some of the most common conditions including:

If you have been diagnosed with any of these conditions and would like to explore minimally invasive treatments, including endoscopic spine surgery, please get in touch with our office. Our board-certified staff is able to look at your specific condition and help you determine the best course of action to relieve your pain.


Endoscopic spine surgery can be used a treat a wide number of spinal conditions using minimally invasive, precise techniques. In many cases patients are able to walk up and leave the hospital the same day.

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Schedule an initial consultation today to discuss all of your surgical and non-surgical treatment options.

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Atlantic Brain and Spine A graduate of both Yale and Stanford, Dr. Jae Lim is a board-certified spine surgeon who specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery and robotic spine surgery, significantly reducing surgical impact and recovery times. (703) 876-4270
8501 Arlington Blvd. Suite 330
United States
Jae Y. Lim Ben L. Nguyen