FAQs on Minimally Invasive Lumbar Microdiscectomy
What happens during a minimally invasive lumbar microdiscectomy?
As the discs that cushion vertebrae wear down with age, the pressure upon them can cause them to bulge or become herniated. This causes them to press up against the spinal nerves, which can cause pain, numbness, or tingling in the lower back or legs.
A lumbar microdiscectomy may be performed to remove pressure from the spinal nerve by removing the parts of the disc that are herniated and pinching the nerve. Historically, this surgery requires a large incision to be made on the back, and muscle tissue must be removed in order to access and operate on the bulging or herniated disc. Because of the volume of tissue affected by such an operation, recovery time for such a procedure can extend for months.
However, minimally invasive techniques allow trained surgeons to perform the same procedure with only a single small ½ inch incision. A small tube is inserted and positioned without significantly impacting surrounding muscle tissue. Surgery is performed through the skillful manipulation of microsurgical tools through this access tube using a microscope..
The result is the same spinal nerve relief but with far less inflammation of surrounding tissue, making post-operative recovery substantially less painful and time-consuming for our patients. Minimally invasive procedures also show lower complication rates than conventional procedures.
Frequently asked questions lumbar microdiscectomy in Palm Beach Gardens
What is a minimally invasive lumbar microdiscectomy?
A minimally invasive lumbar microdiscectomy is a surgical procedure used to treat specific spinal conditions affecting the spine’s lumbar (lower back) region.
This surgical technique is designed to alleviate the pressure on spinal nerves and relieve symptoms such as pain, numbness, and weakness caused by the compression of these nerves.
Most surgeons prefer a minimally invasive approach to lumbar microdiscectomy compared to traditional open surgery for the following reasons:
- Small incisions allow for a safer procedure because it reduces the risk of infection and blood loss.
- It minimizes damage to adjacent healthy tissues, leading to reduced postoperative pain.
- It promotes shorter hospital stays and quicker recovery.
When is it used?
Lumbar microdiscectomy is recommended in specific cases of lumbar spine conditions, particularly when conservative treatments have failed to provide relief or when the severity of the spinal problem requires surgical intervention.
It is most commonly used and recommended for the following situations:
- Herniated disc – a ruptured disc in the lower region of the spine that happens when a disc’s inner material (nucleus pulposus) pushes through the outer disc wall.
- Sciatica – refers to pain, numbness, or tingling that radiates down the leg, often caused by compression of the sciatic nerve.
- Lumbar disc bulge – A bulging disc is a condition where the disc protrudes outward but hasn’t ruptured.
- Spinal stenosis – a condition characterized by the narrowing of the spinal canal, which can lead to nerve compression and symptoms like leg pain and weakness.
Who is a good candidate for a microdiscectomy in Palm Beach Gardens?
Microdiscectomy is a procedure that can be highly effective for certain individuals experiencing specific lumbar spine conditions. Good candidates for this procedure typically exhibit the following characteristics:
- Have undergone a course of conservative treatments without satisfactory relief. These treatments may include rest, physical therapy, pain medications, epidural injections, and lifestyle modifications.
- Experiencing persistent and severe symptoms related to a herniated or bulging disc.
- Patients with neurological deficits due to nerve compression, such as muscle weakness or bladder and bowel dysfunction, may be candidates for lumbar microdiscectomy.
- Does not have contradictory health conditions or risk factors that significantly increase surgical risks.
It’s important to note that the decision to undergo a lumbar microdiscectomy should be made in consultation with a qualified spine specialist. They will thoroughly evaluate the patient’s condition and medical history to determine if surgery is appropriate.
How long does the surgery take?
The duration of a minimally invasive lumbar microdiscectomy can vary depending on several factors. But on average, the surgery typically takes 30 minutes to 1 hour to complete.
Will I experience any pain or discomfort after a microdiscectomy?
Pain and discomfort after a lumbar microdiscectomy are common experiences, but they are typically manageable and tend to improve as you recover.
Your doctor will prescribe pain medications to help manage your discomfort. You’ll likely start with stronger pain relievers immediately after surgery and then transition to milder medications as your pain decreases.
What is the recovery time from a minimally invasive lumbar microdiscectomy?
Recovery time from a lumbar microdiscectomy can vary from person to person. However, here is a general timeline of what you can expect during your recovery:
- Immediate postoperative period (days 1-2)
After the surgery, you will spend some time in the recovery room for monitoring. You may be encouraged to start walking and moving around with assistance on the same day as the surgery.
You will be discharged from the facility when your doctor determines that you are stable and ready to go home, usually within the day of the surgery.
- First few weeks (weeks 1-2)
During this period, you should continue to rest and gradually increase your activity levels as advised by your surgeon. Avoid strenuous activities, heavy lifting, and bending at the waist.
Physical therapy may be recommended to help you regain strength and mobility. Pain and discomfort will gradually decrease, but it’s normal to experience some soreness in the lower back.
You may be able to return to light, sedentary work within a week or two, depending on your job requirements.
- Weeks 2-4
Pain medication requirements usually decrease during this period. As your condition improves, you may be allowed to engage in more activities, such as walking, swimming, and gentle stretching.
Some patients may begin to resume driving if they are no longer taking strong pain medications and can move comfortably.
- Months 2-3
By this stage, most patients experience significant improvement in their symptoms. You can gradually increase your physical activity and return to more strenuous exercises or work, but it’s essential to do so slowly and under your surgeon’s guidance. Continue any prescribed physical therapy sessions to aid in your recovery.
- Long-term recovery (months three and beyond)
Full recovery may take several more months, and some residual discomfort or stiffness may persist. Your surgeon will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your progress and discuss your long-term outlook.
Is it an effective treatment option?
According to studies, microdiscectomy has a high success rate (about 90%), with many patients experiencing significant relief from their symptoms.
However, successful outcomes are often influenced by factors such as patient compliance with postoperative instructions and rehabilitation efforts, overall health, and the presence of any underlying medical conditions.
Discover Freedom from Back Pain with Saville Spine Institute
If you are looking for the best facility that performs ‘microdiscectomy near me’, then you’re on the right track.
At Saville Spine Institute, we offer cutting-edge solutions to help you regain your quality of life. Our microdiscectomy in Palm Beach Gardens is designed to provide effective relief while minimizing discomfort and downtime.
Our team of renowned spine specialists excels in minimally invasive approaches to spinal procedures and other services, such as:
- Lumbar disc arthroplasty
- Minimally invasive lumbar decompression
- Cervical disc replacement
- Concierge orthopedics
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.