What Is MicroDiscectomy Surgery? How It Can Heal Herniated Disc?

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For people who have a herniated disc that is not responding to various non surgical treatments such as, medication, physical therapy or epidural steroid injections, surgical options may be looked at to remedy the problem.

One of the procedures that can be performed is a MicroDiscectomy. A MicroDiscectomy makes use of a special microscope or endoscope to view the damaged discs and nerves. This minimally invasive way of performing the procedure makes it possible for the doctor to make very small incisions in the back to remove any damaged herniated tissue they might find.

  What Is MicroDiscectomy Surgery? How It Can Heal Herniated Disc?

By creating smaller incisions we cause much less pain, helping you take smaller amounts of pain narcotics. There is also less scarring and allows for a faster recovery and easier rehabilitation.

Herniated Disc

A herniated disc occurs when one or more discs in your spine tear or rupture. When this happens the disc bulges out into the spinal canal and can compress the nerves and/or spinal cord. Any of the following could be considered a symptom of a herniated disc, a sharp, burning or stabbing pain that may be felt in your arms, hands, legs, neck or lower back.

You may start to feel some numbness and tingling and your pain might get worse if you cough, sneeze or apply pressure to that area of the spine. While the vast majority of people who have a herniated disc respond well to non surgical treatments 5-10% of all disc herniations will require some sort of surgical intervention to see a reduction in symptoms.

MicroDiscectomy Procedure

This surgery is performed though a very small incision in the back - anywhere from 1 inch to 1 ½ inches in length. The surgeons then carefully moves the back muscle out of the way to gain a good vantage point and starts working their way to your damaged disc.

Once your surgeon can visualize the area they will remove the offending material and stitch you back up. An important thing to note is that, since almost all of the joints, ligaments and muscles are left intact and not cut in any way during the procedure there is no change to the mechanical structure of your spine.

After MicroDiscectomy

After your surgery is completed you will be encouraged to get out of bed and walk around as soon as possible. After a few hours many patients find that they are well enough to go home where they may continue their recovery.

At home you will need to restrict some of your activities for the next few weeks, no lifting of any sort and if you notice your pain getting worse while doing an activity, stop, and do not repeat it until you have spoken to your doctor.

You will need to keep the incision dry for the first week so it might be best to either forgo showering, or make do with sponge baths. After the first week you will want to start incorporating some light activities into your day-to-day routine, such as walking to help keep your strength up.

At this point your doctor may also advise you on an exercise routine that can be used to strengthen your back to prevent any further damage in the future.It may take 6-8 weeks to start feeling like normal again but if you are at all concerned about you post surgery symptoms it is best to consult with your doctor and make sure everything is proceeding as planned.

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