What is microdiscectomy?
Microdiscectomy, also known as microdecompression, is a minimally invasive spine surgery performed to relieve neural impingements in patients with a herniated lumbar disc. This surgery is performed to treat leg pain (known as radiculopathy or sciatica) which occurs when there is a compression of the spinal nerve. During this procedure a small amount of the bone that covers the nerve root is removed. This relieves the pressure on the nerves and allows for greater room for the healing of the nerve.
How does the procedure work?
After receiving a general anaesthetic, a small incision is made on your back directly over the problem disc. Your surgeon will use either an operating microscope or a pair of operating glasses to perform the micro surgery. Once the back muscles have been moved out of the way, your surgeon will remove the membrane that covers the nerve roots. A small amount of bone may need to be removed to access the nerve root. The nerve root is then moved aside and the disc material is carefully removed from below the nerve root. Stiches are used to close the incision and in most cases, the patient is discharged within 24 hours. The nerve root may take up to six weeks to heal after microdiscectomy surgery. Immediate relief from the leg pain, however, is felt immediately in most cases.