Lumbar Microdiscectomy Surgery
If you are suffering from a herniated disc in your lower back, lumbar microdiscectomy surgery (or “decompression”) may provide relief. The lumbar spine consists of five vertebrae, the largest and strongest in the spinal column. Between each vertebra is a gel-filled disc that cushions the vertebrae from pressure, acting as a shock absorber. Pain and mobility issues result if the disc herniates, causing the soft interior to rupture.
Conservative treatments, such as steroid injections, or the use of over-the-counter medications, chiropractic treatment, and physical therapy may help. However, if symptoms worsen, it is time to consider a lumbar microdiscectomy.
What is a lumbar microdiscectomy?
A herniated disc in the lower back causes pain because of pressure on spinal nerves. Using minimally invasive techniques, a lumbar microdiscectomy removes the herniated fragment with little effect on muscles and soft tissues. It is among the most common spinal surgeries and is low risk and quick recovery.
Because the procedure is minimally invasive, recovery takes less time. Overall, most patients report good to excellent results after this lumbar spine surgery.
Who is a good candidate for microdiscectomy in the lower spine?
Patients with the following symptoms relating to a herniated disc are often good candidates for a lumbar microdiscectomy. These symptoms include:
- Increasing pain
- Tingling in the back or legs
- Weakness in the legs
Conditions treated with lumbar microdecompression
Lumbar microdiscectomy may be indicated for:
- Bone spurs
- Degenerated discs
- Herniated discs
Microdiscectomy spine surgery is a minimally invasive procedure
The procedure is performed while the patient is under general anesthesia. Using a minimally invasive approach, Dr. Barnett creates a channel through the back muscles to access the spine. The incision is made at the midline of the affected area.
Fluoroscopy, or guided X-ray, is used to send a tubular retractor to the herniated disc’s location. Minute tools inserted into the tube are used for disc removal. Once the lumbar microdiscectomy is completed, the incision is covered by a small bandage. The entire procedure takes between 45 minutes to one hour.
Lumbar microdiscectomy recovery time
Lumbar microdiscectomy is an outpatient procedure. Expect to spend one week recuperating before resuming work and daily activities. It will take longer if your job involves physical activity, especially lifting. Most patients can resume driving within a week if they are off all pain medications. Patients are advised to avoid lifting, bending at the waist, or twisting for two to four weeks.
Schedule an Appointment with Dr. David Barnett
If you would like more information about lumbar discectomy and whether you are a candidate, contact the office of David Barnett M.D. and schedule an appointment. Dr. Barnett has been in practice for more than 26 years and is a leading neurosurgeon in the Dallas-FT. Worth area.
- Dohrmann GJ, Mansour N. Long-Term Results of Various Operations for Lumbar Disc Herniation: Analysis of over 39,000 Patients. Med Princ Pract. 2015;24(3):285-90. doi: 10.1159/000375499. Epub 2015 Mar 27. PMID: 25832729; PMCID: PMC5588202.
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What Our Patients Have to Say
From start to finish, Dr. Barnett and his staff were always informative and professional. Dr. Barnett performed my neck surgery and lower back surgery all during a pandemic and everything worked out perfect. Highly recommend Dr. Barnett. Top notch.
Contact us to schedule a consultation and let us help you start feeling better today.