What is Lumbar Disc Microsurgery?
Lumbar disc microsurgery is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that involves the removal of a protruding lumbar disc. Lumbar disc herniation is a common problem that can compress upon the nerves and can cause symptoms such as tingling and numbness along with pain in the lower limbs. It is a common cause for a clinical condition called sciatica. Lumbar disc microsurgery is an effective procedure in getting rid of sciatica that occurs due to compression of these nerve fibers by the protruding disc.
When is Lumbar Disc Microsurgery Performed?
The most common indication for lumbar disc microsurgery is sciatica due to nerve compression from a herniated intervertebral disc.
How is the Procedure Performed?
The procedure is performed under general anesthesia. Once the patient’s consent has been obtained, they are laid on their chest in a position that makes access to the lower back easy. The area where the surgery is to be performed is cleaned with antiseptic solution and covered in sterile drapes.
A small incision is made directly over the vertebra where the herniated disc lies. Through this incision, instruments are gently passed in order to get access to the intervertebral disc. Along the way, portion of the lamina of the vertebra may need to be opened or removed to gain access to the spinal canal. It is through this opening in the lamina that the structures can be visualized by the surgeon.
Once access has been obtained to the spinal-cord, the spinal nerve roots are gently moved to a side by a retractor. This gives the surgeon access to the herniated lumbar disc. The portion of the disc that is protruding out of the space is removed surgically using specialized instruments. This takes away the pressure that is being placed upon the nerve fibers by this protruding disc.
After the procedure, the retractor and other surgical instruments are removed and the spinal nerve is repositioned automatically. The incision made in the skin is closed with a suture and a sterile bandage is applied on it.
After the Procedure
After the procedure, patients may find that their symptoms that they were experiencing have remarkably gotten better. They will need observation in hospital for a short period of time before they are sent home.
The main benefit of lumbar disc microsurgery is that a great deal can be accomplished through a small incision. Patients symptoms are significantly better which can in turn improve their mobility over a period of time. This can enable them to lead a completely normal life.
There are only a handful of risks associated with lumbar disc microsurgery. These are risks are often associated with the use of general anesthesia. With regards to the procedure itself, there is a small chance of mild bleeding and bruising at the site of surgery along with the rare chance of damage to the nerve fibers. In the hands of expert surgeon, these are extremely uncommon.