Damage or degeneration of the discs in the lower (lumbar) spine can put increased pressure on the spinal nerves, causing pain, weakness, and loss of feeling in the lower extremities. A lumbar discectomy is a type of surgical procedure used to remove all or part of a damaged disc in the lower spine.
About the Procedure
In a normal lumbar discectomy, the surgeon might create a large incision in the back to provide access to and a visual of the lumbar spine. A minimally invasive lumbar discectomy, on the other hand, involves a much smaller incision and the use of a fluoroscope to provide x-ray visuals to guide the surgeon’s hand. During the procedure, a small incision will be made in the back and dilators may be inserted to spread the muscles so the affected area of the lumbar spine can be accessed. The surgeon will remove the damaged or degenerated portion of the disc, then replace the muscle and tissue before closing the incision.
Benefits of Minimally Invasive Surgery
The main benefit of a minimally invasive lumbar discectomy is that it has a much shorter recovery time than traditional surgery. By using minimally invasive techniques, the surgeon can spread the muscles rather than cutting them to access the lumbar spine. This alone greatly reduces recovery time. Minimally invasive techniques also reduce blood loss and scarring, and may lower post-operative pain and the risk of infection. This type of surgery requires a certain degree of training and experience, so if you choose minimally invasive surgery you need to be sure that your surgeon has plenty of experience with this type of procedure.
In many cases of minimally invasive lumbar discectomy, the patient can leave the hospital the same day, though full recovery may take a few weeks. Even though recovery from the surgery could take a few weeks, many patients experience relief from symptoms immediately after the surgery has been completed. Though a minimally invasive lumbar discectomy has fewer risks than traditional spinal surgery, there are still some potential complications that you need to discuss with your surgeon prior to having the surgery. Not every case will be a good candidate for minimally invasive surgery, and your doctor will perform a thorough exam as well as various diagnostic tests to determine which course of action is right for you.
What to Expect from Jersey Spine Associates
When you choose Jersey Spine Associates to perform your minimally invasive lumbar discectomy, you can rest easy knowing that we use only the safest, most modern technologies and techniques in each and every case. We have many years of experience in the industry, and Dr. Ponnappan is a renowned orthopedic spine surgeon who will perform your procedure with the utmost care and precision.
When you come in for your appointment, one of our team members will walk you through the procedure and answer any questions you may have before the surgery. Call today or visit our website to schedule your consultation, or to make an appointment for your minimally invasive lumbar discectomy.