A herniated disc is a common condition. The cause could be normal wear and tear. Or it could be due to an injury to the disc that forces it to bulge. Because of this, the herniated or bulging disc may press on the spinal cord.
Patients with disc herniation often experience one or more symptoms. It can be pain, numbness, or weakness in the area surrounding the affected disc. Depending on the location of the disc, it’s also possible for some patients to experience problems in the legs or arms.
One potential treatment for lower back and leg pain caused by a herniated disc can be a microdiscectomy. Here’s what it is and what you need to know about it.
What Is Minimally Invasive Microdiscectomy?
Symptoms related to disc herniation can improve on their own or with conservative spine treatments. If the treatments don’t work and the patient’s symptoms last for more than six weeks, the next step may be a microdiscectomy.
Also known as microdecompression spine surgery, a microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that removes part of the disc causing the pain. As a result, it eases pressure on the spinal cord and relieves pain.
A microdiscectomy has multiple techniques. Typically, the surgeon makes a small incision in the back near the affected disc. Next, the surgeon moves the muscles out of the way. With direct access to the spine, the surgeon inserts small surgical instruments and a microscope in the incision. After identifying the target nerve root, the surgeon removes the disc. In some cases, the surgeon may remove a small portion of the facet joint.
The surgeon puts the muscles back in place and closes the incision. The procedure usually requires general anesthesia. It takes about an hour.
Recovering From a Microdiscectomy
The minimally invasive spine surgery is usually done on an outpatient basis. This means the patient can go home the same day. If so, the patient will likely stay for a few hours. However, some facilities may require an overnight stay. In both cases, patients will need someone to take them home.
Prior to leaving the facility, the patient will receive instructions on any activity restrictions. The recovery process from a microdiscectomy is faster and less painful than an open discectomy.
If you have questions, contact us or call 214-823-2052. With offices in Addison and Dallas, our team serves residents in Dallas, Addison, Plano, Frisco, Garland, and other cities in the DFW metroplex.