Endoscopic spine surgery in Republic of Korea

Hyeun-Sung Kim, Harshavardhan Dilip Raorane, Dong Hwa Heo, Yeon Jin Yi, Il-Tae Jang


Spinal surgery may profoundly improve the quality of life in patients suffering from degenerative conditions of the spine. Minimally invasive spinal surgery (MISS) and endoscopic spine surgery (ESS), in particular, have expanded the accepted indications for spine surgery in the growing elderly population mostly affected by the age-related disease (1,2). However, ESS is considered by most to be challenging to learn and costly to implement. In this editorial, the authors—two fellowship-trained and ESS enthusiasts each with more than 10 years of clinical experience—are attempting to illustrate why and how the implementation of such a groundbreaking technology has occurred at a faster pace in Republic of Korea than in other countries with a highly-developed health care system.