A method of and apparatus for performing endoscopic or laparoscopic surgery on a patient's spine is provided. The apparatus includes a trochar which is specifically design for spinal applications. The trochar includes of a first transparent tubular member of a predetermined diameter and a second transparent tubular member of a slightly larger diameter than the first transparent tubular member. The first transparent tubular member fits slidingly within the second transparent tubular member in a telescoping manner. The first transparent tubular member has two ends: an end for remaining in side-to-side contact with said second tubular member and a free end which has an attached metal fitting with serrated teeth for anchoring in the patient's vertebrae when the trochar is inserted through a incision made in the patient's abdomen or chest. The trochar also includes a collar and set screw arrangement. The collar is made up of a short tubular portion having a flanged end. The flanged end is annularly shaped and protrudes approximately perpendicularly outwardly from the short tubular portion of the collar. The short tubular portion of the collar has a threaded aperture therethrough. The threaded aperture threadingly mates with a set screw which when turned far enough counterclockwise prevents the first tube from telescoping within the second tube. Additionally, the collar and set screw arrangement also functions to stabilize the trochar in an approximately upright position at an angle to the patient's body.