Microdiscectomy, also known as micro decompression, refers to the minimally invasive surgical procedure that is used to remove the part of the inter vertebral disc that is putting pressure on the spinal nerves. The surgery is of three types – mini-open (surgeon uses advanced equipment to view the spine), tubular (tubes are inserted in the spine for the surgery), and endoscopic (surgeon uses an endoscope to view the spine). It is performed by orthopedic surgeons and provides relief from the pain by taking the pressure off the spinal nerves causing pain in the back.
When is it performed?
Microdiscectomy is performed when the inter vertebral disc has broken off the disc or a part of it is protruding and putting a strain on the spinal nerves causing immense pain. It is recommended after a complete clinical examination of the patient and is the last option for treatment. Those who suffer from any serious disease are not recommended the surgery.
How is it performed?
A minimally invasive surgery, microdiscectomy is performed under general anesthesia and can take around an hour. The surgeon makes an incision at the midline of the lower back and then using an operating microscope, views the spine for the damage. After viewing, the surgeon uses specially-designed instruments to remove the damaged disc and then seals the area with stitches. In the tubular surgery technique, the surgeon uses tubes to dilate the site of surgery and in mini-open technique, utilizes advanced technology to view the spine.
The patient takes around two weeks to recover and return to a normal routine but it may extend depending on the patient’s condition. During the recovery time, the patient is prescribed exercise and also given medications for pain relief. Precautions regarding the care of the operated site are also advised and must be followed for timely recovery.