What to Expect From Lumbar Disc Microsurgery?

Lumbar microdiscectomy or lumbar disc microsurgery is a minimally invasive procedure used for removing the herniated part of a vertebral disc that causes serious lower back pain, numbness, and weakness. It is performed to relieve a patient’s leg pain due to nerve root compression. It uses a microscope that allows a surgeon to clearly visualize the lumbar disc and the nearby nerves. 

Why Choose This Procedure

Before you choose lumbar microdiscectomy, you should try conservative treatments such as physical therapy, rest, and corticosteroid injections first. If you don’t respond to these treatments after you try them for six weeks, you can consider this mild procudure. Although not all cases require surgery, lumbar microdiscectomy can effectively and quickly relieve pain, especially the pain caused by lumbar disc herniation. Sometimes, the procedure is also done to treat a lumbar disc rupture. 

A disc herniation occurs due to gradual wear and tear or an intervertebral disc injury that causes it to bulge outside the spinal column’s perimeters. An excess of this pressure can fracture or break the disc’s covering. This is known as a ruptured disc. 

What Happens During the Procedure?

Lumbar microdiscectomy is performed laparoscopically. A surgeon who performs this surgery will insert miniature surgical instruments and a small camera through different small incisions in the back. This gives the surgeon a magnified and precise view of the impacted area. 

After the affected disc has been located, the surgeon will lift the muscles away to access the spine. Then, the surgeon will identify the impinged nerve root and remove the targeted disc to relieve compression. The surgeon may also remove a small part of the facet joint. After these steps, the surgeon will place the muscles back and close the incisions with sutures. 

Recovery Expectations

The surgeon will advise the patient to get up and walk as soon as possible. Keeping mobile may help decrease scar tissue formation and promote better healing. They will prescribe medication to manage the post-surgical pain. After the surgery-related pain subsides, the patient will feel much better before the surgery because the underlying nerve pain no longer exists. 

Physical therapy may be prescribed to the patient during recovery to help in the restoration of their strength and flexibility. Also, it can help minimize the recurrence of back pain. The patient may be able to return to work in 2-4 weeks as long as their jobs do not require physical labor.