Microdiscectomy, also called Microlumbar Discectomy (MLD), is performed for patients with a painful lumbar herniated disc. Microdiscectomy is a very common, if not the most common, surgery performed by spine surgeons. The operation consists ofremoving a portion of the intervertebral disc, the herniated or protruding portion that is compressing the traversing spinal nerve root. Years ago, most spine surgeons would remove a herniated disc using a rather large surgical incision and surgical exposure without the use of a microscope or telescopic glasses, which would often involve a long hospital stay and prolonged recovery period. Today, many surgeons use a microscopic surgical approach with a small, minimally-invasive, poke-hole incision to remove the disc herniation, allowing for a more rapid recovery.
Advantages: The success rate for microdiscectomy spine surgery is approximately 90% to 95%, although 5% to 10% of patients will develop a recurrent disc herniation at some point in the future.
What is the Purpose of Procedure?
The primary purpose of this procedure is to surgically remove a part of the disc that is pushing on the nerve and thus, causing the pain. The goal is to take pressure off the nerve but still retain as much of the disc as possible. The entire disc is not removed, only the herniated fragment.
How long is the procedure?
A typical lumbar discectomy takes approximately 1 hour.
When can a patient return to Routine of Normal Daily Living?
Early return to normal activities is encouraged with three exceptions.Heavy lifting, bending from the waist and prolonged sitting are discouraged for the first 6 weeks after surgery.Driving is not allowed until after your first post-op visit (usually 1 - 2 weeks). Most patients are able to go up and down stairs when they go home from the hospital.
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