Lumbar Microdiscectomy

What is Lumbar Microdiscectomy?

Micro lumbar discectomy is a procedure indented for patients suffering from hernia is their lumbar discs. This minimally invasive surgery is very faster when compares to the traditional open surgery. The patient undergoing this surgery can be back to his normal activities within seven days.

Herniated lumbar disc is a devastating disease in which the patient feels severe radiating pain, backache, and tingling sensation in one or both legs. If the disc between the 4th and 5th lumbar vertebrae herniates it can be due to the increase age of the patient or due to some other reasons. In mild cases the treatment in the conservative methods may be helpful in reducing the symptoms. But in severe cases conservative treatment will not be able to produce any improvement in the problems and will not be able to produce a satisfactory and long lasting result. In such a situation micro lumbar discectomy is the only resort that a patient can turn to as this has been very convenient and less invasive and success almost assured procedure. This procedure aims at relieving the pressure at the spine and the nerves by removing the disc portions and bone that is pressing against them.

Surgical procedure of Lumbar Microdiscectomy

The surgical procedure starts with a small incision in the middle line on the back of the neck. Through this incision the surgeon lifts off the back muscles(erector spinae) from the bony arch(lamina) of the spine. The surgeon then reaches the spine by removing the membrane over the nerve roots. The surgeon uses either an operating microscope or operating glasses(loupes) and with the help of this he visualizes the nerve root. Some portions of the facet joint in now removed which will relieve the pressure on the nerve and give easy access to the nerve. After moving the nerve root aside the surgeon removes the disc material under the root nerve. In this procedure the ligaments and muscles of the facet joint are not touched and they are left intact.

How successful is Lumbar Microdiscectomy procedure?

Micro lumbar discectomy is found to be a very successful procedure with a recorded success rate of 90 %. Relief from pain and discomforts is obtained immediately after the surgery. But there is possibility of recurrence of the hernia in 5 to 10 of the case of unsuccessful cases. The recurrence usually occurs within 3 months of the completion of the surgery. In case of recurrence of hernia there is amble scope for a revision micro discectomy. But in this case also the success rate is as high as 80 %. The possibility of further recurrence in the failed cases 10 to 20 %

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