A Lumbar microdiscectomy is a surgery performed to remove a herniated disc or degenerative disc in the lower spine. The doctor makes an incision to remove the disc pressing on the nerves. There are five steps involved in a laminotomy discectomy. The operation will usually last one to two hours.
The Small Incision
Treating a degenerative or herniated disc starts with a small incision. In the operating room your lumbar microdiscectomy begins with a relatively small incision in your lower back as the surgery is viewed through a microscope. Through this opening, your doctor will insert microsurgical instruments and create a path to reach the affected disc(s).
Reaching Your Nerve
Guided by diagnostic studies, your doctor will remove a small portion of bony material from the back of your vertebrae, using a drill or bone-biting tool. Once this material is removed, your doctor can locate the exact area where the nerve root is being pinched.
Removing The Disc
Once the affected nerve is located, the extent of the pressure on the nerve can be determined. Using micro-surgical procedures, your doctor will remove the ruptured portion of the disc and any disc fragments which have broken off from the main disc and compressing the nerve root. Any other conditions such as bone spurs will also be removed.
Note: Your doctor will never remove your full disc because it supports your vertebrae.*
Closing the Incision
Once the damaged fragments of your disc are removed, your doctor will then close the incision. The microsurgical instruments and microscope will be withdrawn slowly, so your doctor can see the tissue come back together. The incision area will then be irrigated, and a drain may be placed before being sewn together with absorbable sutures (stitches) under the skin.
A small dressing is applied over the incision and a soft neck brace is applied. You are then taken to the Recovery Room.
If you’re experiencing pain from a herniated disc or degenerative disc, microdiscectomy may be the treatment for you. Consult with your doctor to find the right treatment plan.