Minimally Invasive Microdiscectomy

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A microdisectomy is a minimally invasive procedure used to relieve pressure on inflamed nerve roots caused by herniated discs in the spine. Bony and soft disc tissues are removed, reducing irritation and allowing the nerve the opportunity to heal. This procedure is typically reserved for patients with herniated discs who have experienced six weeks or more of chronic leg pain that has not adequately responded to more conservative, non-surgical treatment measures.

Did you know…

that many patients feel leg pain relief almost instantly following a microdisectomy? Once the spinal nerves are no longer compressed, pain, numbness and weakness tend to subside. The result is restored strength, improved feeling and a better overall quality of life that continues to improve for several weeks after the procedure.

What is the benefit of a microdisectomy vs. traditional surgery?

Unlike open disectomy surgeries, a microdisectomy is minimally invasive, meaning the entire procedure is performed through a small incision. Using small laparoscopic tools, the muscles are gently lifted aside rather than cut. This significantly reduces the amount of post-operative pain a patient experiences and also expedites the recovery time. Furthermore, the smaller incisions reduce the risk of infection and other complications.

What happens during a microdisectomy?

During the procedure, an incision (usually between 1 and 2 inches in length) is made in the lower back. The muscle is lifted away from the surgical area, and the surgeon uses a laparoscopic microscope to visualize the treatment area. Small portions of bone and disc tissues are removed from the affected nerve root, preventing further irritation. As inflammation abates, the nerve is allowed to heal and pain will gradually subside.

How long is the recovery following a microdisectomy?

Microdisectomy is typically performed in a hospital on an outpatient basis, though some patients will require at least one overnight stay. Because the procedure requires minimal invasiveness, most patients experience a relatively rapid recovery. In fact, many are able to return to work in as little as 2 – 4 weeks. It is advised that patients avoid exaggerated spinal movements, such as twisting or lifting, in the weeks immediately following surgery. Keep in mind that it can take several months for nerves to heal and pre-operative symptoms to fully subside.