As people age, the discs in the spine that cushion the vertebrae tend to break down and wear out. When a disc is particularly damaged, it may be referred to as a “worn disc” or “collapsed disc.” In cases where conservative treatments have not been completely successful, a minimally invasive treatment called a microdiscectomy is offered by NJ Spine & Orthopedic doctors.
WHAT IS A MICRODISCECTOMY?
A microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure designed to remove pressure from the nerves and relieve back and/or leg pain resulting from problems with vertebral discs, such as damaged discs or spinal bone spurs.
Discs that have become worn, collapsed or damaged in other ways typically require professional treatment, especially if they cause symptoms that interfere with the patient’s life. In some cases, injured discs may also herniate or tear, which exacerbates the problem even further.
Symptoms may occur in the area surrounding the affected discs, as well as in the patient’s extremities, causing extreme pain that requires more than conservative methods like pain medication or injections. Any of these conditions can lead to uncomfortable symptoms, such as:
- Pain, numbness and/or tingling in back area near affected disc
- Pain, numbness and/or tingling that runs down the legs (occurs if the affected disc touches a nerve in your spinal cord)
- Loss of reflexes in legs
How does a microdiscectomy work?
A surgeon performs a disc repair by making a small incision in the skin near the affected disc. After making the incision, the surgeon moves the back muscles out of the way and removes the ligamentum flavum, which is a membrane that covers the nerve root. He or she will then use a small video camera, operating glasses and/or microscope to visualize the nerve root throughout the procedure. Finally, the surgeon removes the damaged disc material to alleviate the pressure while simultaneously monitoring the nerve root to ensure that it is not damaged.
Alleviate your back or leg pain without a hospital stay
A microdiscectomy at NJSO is performed using a new, minimally invasive technique developed by our expert staff to alleviate pain without cutting muscle.
Our NJSO team has taken microdiscectomy to the next level:
- Our team of surgeons can repair most herniated disc and spinal bone spur problems through a small tube 13 mm in size.
- Performed through a small, under-1-inch incision in which doctors go around muscles and surrounding tissue instead of cutting through them
- With the aid of a high-powered microscope, doctors can safely fix the issue with little to no blood loss
- Small incision allows for reduced pain during and post surgery
- Using our technique, it is not necessary to cut muscle.
- In most cases, a microdiscectomy will take only one hour to complete.
- All of our patients go home within hours of checking into our clinic for treatment
- Pain is improved almost immediately
Without patients needing a hospital stay, our doctors create less chance for infections, reduce overall cost, and encounter fewer post-procedure issues.
Take the next step towards fixing your pain
If you suffer from painful back or leg symptoms from a damaged disc and are ready to take the next step, our skilled team of spine surgeons and specialists can help you achieve relief. Try our Treatment Check tool below to see if a microdiscectomy is the right treatment for you.
If you’re ready to talk with a spine specialist, call us today at 855-586-2615.
WHO QUALIFIES FOR A MICRODISCECTOMY?
Although doctors often begin with conservative treatment options, such as physical therapy, they are not effective for all patients. In cases where conservative treatments have not been completely successful, our NJSO spine experts recommend a minimally invasive microdiscectomy.
As one of the most common surgical procedures performed on patients who are suffering from low back pain or leg pain due to problems with worn or damaged vertebral discs, this procedure is typically recommended for patients who have been experiencing back or leg pain for at least six weeks and could not find relief from their pain and/or related symptoms through conservative treatment options, such as physical therapy, steroid injections or prescription medications.
A safer treatment and shorter recovery
Microdiscectomy is often used as an alternative to a traditional open discectomy, which is more invasive and carries a greater risk of complications for the patient. Microdiscectomy is appropriate for patients who are suffering from a compressed disc, worn disc or herniated disc in the lower back. It is particularly effective among patients who experience chronic leg pain as a result of nerve root compression (the affected disc squeezing or compressing a nerve in your spinal cord).
Our doctors are highly skilled at both procedures and combine the two into one, quick treatment session. Patients receive a quick, outpatient experience without having to undergo multiple surgeries, resulting in a reduced recovery period.
Advantages of our minimally invasive method
Microdiscectomies tend to be more effective at relieving pain than less conservative treatment options. They also offer several advantages over a standard open discectomy:
- An invasive, open discectomy requires a large incision, while our microdiscectomy can be performed in under 1-inches.
- Discectomies must cut through the back muscles, causing muscle damage and the formation of scar tissue not found in our minimally invasive microdiscectomy
- Because our microdiscectomies are less invasive than traditional discectomies, the risk of serious complications, such as infections, is considerably lower.
- Our microdiscectomy involves a much shorter recovery period than traditional disc surgery, and the recovery period tends to be less painful.
- The procedure itself is typically much shorter when our doctors perform a minimally invasive microdiscectomy
Get the treatment answers you need
If you or someone you care about is experiencing pain, numbness or other uncomfortable symptoms because of a damaged disc or bone spur, it’s wise to seek treatment from an experienced expert.
See if you qualify for a microdiscectomy by trying our free Candidacy Check tool below before talking with someone at NJSO.
Have an MRI ready to go?
Schedule your FREE MRI EVALUATION with one of our experienced spine surgeon today, who will personally walk you through your situation assessment over the phone.