What You Can Expect from Lumbar Microdiscectomy Surgery

Have you experienced chronic pain in your lower back? If conservative options have failed to relieve your pain, then it may be time to discuss lumbar microdiscectomy surgery.

A lumbar discectomy is a surgery that will fix a disc in your lower back. Small incisions are used during a microdiscectomy versus an open lumbar discectomy.

In a healthy back, discs sit between each vertebra. They provide cushioning and support of the bones of the spinal column. 

With age or injury, the outer wall of spinal discs can dry out and weaken. Eventually, this causes the discs to bulge out. It may be referred to as a herniated or bulging disc. The disc can put pressure on the spinal column, which can cause pain, tingling, or weakness. 

Why Would I Need a Lumbar Microdiscectomy Surgery? 

You may need surgery to help relieve the symptoms of a bulging disc. It can help patients find relief from symptoms that come with the condition. 

Not everyone is a candidate for the surgery. Usually, conservative treatments such as physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications (N-SAIDS) are first suggested. 

If conservative methods fail, then speak with an orthopedic doctor about the risks and benefits of surgery. They can explain the difference between an open surgery versus minimally invasive surgery. 

Notably, minimally invasive surgeries are often preferred as recovery is faster and the patient experiences less pain. 

How is Minimally Invasive Surgery Performed?

There are several steps for lumbar microdiscectomy surgery. The orthopedic surgeon often performs the procedure under a local anesthetic. You will have no pain, but you will be awake. However, sometimes general anesthesia is used where you will then be asleep. 

The surgeon makes a small incision in your back with the bulging disc. They use a special x-ray to ensure they are performing the surgery in the correct location. 

The surgeon uses a wire which they insert into the vertebrae. A tube is placed over the wire, and then the surgeon pushes a second large tube over the first. The procedure will push the tissue of the vertebrae apart. 

The next step is where the surgeon puts special tools, including small surgical instruments, a camera, and a light, through the tube. The herniated disc is then removed, and the surgeon performs any necessary repairs. 

Finally, the tools and tubes are removed. A small bandage is placed over the incisions. 

How Quick is the Recovery After the Surgery?

The minimally invasive surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure. You go home the same day, a couple of hours after your surgery. You will not be able to drive, so you must have someone to take you home. 

Importantly, your orthopedic doctor’s team will give you discharge instructions on recovery. You will likely have to limit any heavy lifting or bending. The doctor will recommend you wear a back brace for a few weeks. 

Though many people can go back to work a week or so after the procedure, it is important to discuss this with your doctor. 

Also, to help in recovery, you will need physical therapy to help strengthen your back. It is important to keep all follow-up appointments with your orthopedic doctor and physical therapist for a successful recovery. 

Know that some drainage from the small incision sites is normal. If you notice an excessive amount of drainage, develop a fever, or increased pain, be sure to call your doctor.

Understand, some amount of pain is expected, even weeks after surgery. Talk to your physician about the best way to manage pain after surgery. It will eventually decrease, and you will find the pain is minimal compared to before your surgery. 

lumbar microdiscectomy surgery

You can Find Relief at our Orthopedic Surgery Center in NC

Why should you choose the Orthopedic Surgery Center of Panther Creek? To start with, we are leaders in diagnosing and treating patients with orthopedic conditions. 

Our board-certified and fellowship-trained physicians can help you recover with minimum pain, including patients who are candidates for back surgery. 

We know you want to get back to your daily life. That is why we work with our patients on a treatment plan to have a successful recovery, even after the most complicated procedures. 

Our surgeons utilize the best and most advanced surgical techniques to ensure the best possible outcomes. 

Contact us at Raleigh Orthopaedic Surgery Center of Panther Creek. We can be reached at 919-582-3050 for additional information and look forward to assisting you as your partner in care. 

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.

outpatient orthopedic surgery cary
6715 McCrimmon Parkway
Suite 205 A 
Cary, NC 27519
Monday – Friday: 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
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