Microdiscectomy in Roseville, CA
A microdiscectomy is a surgical procedure that removes part of an impinged intervertebral disc in order to relieve pain, weakness and numbness in the back, buttocks, and legs. It is usually reserved for patients with severe symptoms that do not respond to more conservative treatments, and significantly affect the patient's quality of life. Sometimes, patients are immediately indicated for surgery if the disc herniation is causing severe weakness, pain, or dysfunction of the bladder/bowels.
The microdiscectomy procedure is most effective in relieving lower back and leg pain caused by lumbar disc herniation, although it is rarely performed in the cervical and thoracic spine as well. A herniated disc is a common condition. It can occur either as a result of gradual wear and tear, or as an acute injury to the intervertebral disc. Patients with this condition often experience pain, numbness and weakness in the affected area, as well as down one or both legs.
In our practice, we typically perform microdisectomy through a minimally invasive approach. This involves a small incision centered over the affected area of the lumbar spine. A small retractor is placed in the incision, and the surgeon uses a microscope to visualize and remove the disc fragment, while proteceting the neurologic structures.
Indications For Microdiscectomy
Symptoms caused by a disc herniation often improve through conservative treatments or on its own. However, patients experiencing leg pain and numbness for more than six weeks may benefit from surgery. Surgery may also be recommended for severe pain that interferes with a patient's ability to function normally. It is important for patients to be healthy enough to undergo major surgery and a rehabilitation program, as well as to have realistic expectations for the outcome of this procedure.
While surgery is not needed in all cases, microdiscectomy is considered a highly effective option that can relieve pain quickly. Your doctor will determine whether or not this procedure is right for you after a thorough evaluation of your condition.
During the microdiscectomy procedure, an incision is made in the back at the location of the affected disc, and the muscles are lifted away to access the spine. Small surgical instruments are inserted into the incision under guidance of a microscope to extract the herniated disc fragment, using minimally invasive techniques. Once the targeted nerve root is identified, the disc is removed from under the root, and a small portion of the facet joint may be removed as well to relieve pressure on the nerve.
The muscles are then placed back in their original position and the incision closed with sutures. This procedure is performed under general anesthesia in a hospital setting. The majority of patients go home the same day as surgery, while a subset of patients stay in the hospital one night after the surgery.
Recovery From Microdiscectomy
After the microdiscectomy procedure, patients are encouraged to get up and walk around shortly after surgery. You will likely experience pain and other side effects, which can be managed through medication provided by your doctor.
Patients can benefit from a customized physical therapy and exercise program during recovery to help restore strength and flexibility and to reduce recurring back pain or disc herniation. These programs usually start with walking and can progress to bicycling and swimming within a few weeks.
Most patients notice significant improvements in pain and are satisfied with the results of their procedure. This procedure provides comparable results with shorter recovery times than an open discectomy procedure.