Lumbar microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive spine surgery performed to remove (ectomy) the part of the damaged lumbar disc that is compressing (pinching) a nerve root. Typically, this procedure is used to treat a lumbar herniated disc causing leg pain, weakness, numbness or tingling. The procedure is called microdiscectomy because your surgeon uses a surgical microscope and specialized instruments.
Minimally invasive spine surgery is performed through one or more small incisions (<1-inch) using special retractors or tube-like dilatational devices to gently separate muscle and soft tissue to access the spine. The procedure is performed using fluoroscopy, a type of real time x-ray that enables the surgeon to see your anatomy and the position of the instruments used during surgery. The spine surgeon uses a microscope or glasses with magnification to view the spine and nerve roots through the tube. Special instruments are used to clear tissue away from the nerve root and remove disc material that is compressing a nerve.
After the nerve is decompressed, the tube is removed to allow retracted muscle and other tissue to move back into place. The incision(s) is closed and dressed with a small bandage.
Spine surgery is an important decision. While the final decision is yours to make, the benefits and potential risks and complications require careful consideration. We look forward to answering your questions and helping you to resolve your concerns about any treatment offered by Piedmont Spine Center.