What is Micro Discectomy?
The procedure of microdiscectomy is usually performed for lumbar herniated disc which is compressing the traversing spinal nerve root. As compared to lower back pain, leg pain is more effectively treated with this surgery. A leg pain is caused by the compression on the root nerve that can take several weeks for the nerve root to get away with weakness or to heal completely. The surgical procedure of microdiscectomy provides immediate relief from the leg pain.
When is Micro Discectomy used?
Conditions such as loss of bladder and bowel function require immediate surgery. In most cases, disc ruptures slowly resolves without performing any surgical procedure. The purpose of performing microdiscectomy is to eliminate or decrease the pain that has not improved after a reasonable time. It is important to know that microdiscectomy is very helpful in relieving leg pain or buttocks pain but it cannot effectively treat back pain.
Who should consider Micro Disectomy ?
Micro Discectomy is primarily suggested for those patients who are experiencing leg pain from the last 4-6 weeks and they also have tried other conservative treatments that include epidural steroid injections, oral steroids, physical therapy and NSAID’s. These conservative surgeries were failed to provide any relief from the pain. This surgery should be immediately performed in order to get maximum benefit. Another important factor is the amount of disability and the level of pain that a patient is going through. Immediate surgery is required when there are severe symptoms.
Procedure of Micro Discectomy
The surgical procedure of microdiscectomy is performed on outpatient basis by making small incision of about 1 to 1 ½ inch in the midline of the lower back.
- The first step is to lift the back muscles from the bony arch of the spine known as lamina. These muscles are not cut rather they are moved out of the way as the back muscles run vertically.
- The spine is then entered by the surgeon by removing a membrane over the nerve roots. Operating microscope or operating glasses are then used for visualizing the nerve root.
- In order to gain access to the nerve root and also to ease pain over the nerve, removal of the small part of the inside facet joint is done.
- Then the surgeon smoothly moves the nerve root to the side and also removes the disc material from below the nerve root.
The procedure of microdiscectomy does not affect the mechanical structure of the lower spine of the patient.
Success Rate of Micro Discectomy
The surgical procedure of microdiscectomy is effective in providing about 85-95% relieve from pain in the legs and buttocks. A patient feels immediate relief from pain but in some particular cases, it can take 6-8 weeks to heal the nerve down. The success rate is seldom 100% when a nerve has been pinched for a long period of time. The success rate is so rare in this case as there is generally mild tingling, pain or weakness which is quite tolerable.
Recovery from Micro Discectomy Surgery
Patients who have undergone this surgery experiences significant relief from pain and also can return to their daily routine activities in two weeks.