Lumbar Discectomy

Lumbar Discectomy

Lumbar Discectomy is a procedure to decompress/un-pinch a bulging or herniated disc. Bulging or herniated discs are common conditions that can cause spinal disorders. A lumbar discectomy is a procedure where a surgeon will approach the spine posteriorly or from the backside. A small incision is made and a little bit of the bone is removed. A microscope or endoscope is then utilized to allow for enhanced visualization of the nerves and the disc material. Once the nerves and discs have been identified, the portion of the disc that is pinching the nerve is removed.

The disc is typically a soft structure and is vulnerable to disease and injury. If some of the disc is dislocated it can pinch a nerve causing resulting pain. The procedure to remove a portion of the disc in an attempt to relieve pain is called discectomy and is by large performed on an outpatient basis. A patient can expect to be discharged from the facility shortly after this procedure in many cases. At Precision Spine Care, our surgeons make every effort to perform this surgery using the least invasive techniques. Please talk with your surgeon for more information about this procedure.

Information on Lumbar Discectomy

Patients who have failed conservative treatment and who have pain in the buttocks, hips and thighs or sciatica with imaging of the spine demonstrating narrowing of the spinal canal or a herniated disc are candidates for this procedure.

Under general anesthesia, your doctor would expose the spine and remove a small portion of the bone in the spine to expand the previously narrowed spinal canal. This relieves pressure from the nerves. In the case of a discectomy, the doctor shaves off a portion of the disc that pinches the nerve. Both of these procedures relieve pain.

You may be in the hospital for 3-5 days for monitoring. You will work with physical therapy during that time. Some patients may need rehab after surgery. This decision may be made in the hospital or after your follow up with your doctor at the 6-week visit.

There are risks associated with any procedure:

  • Spinal fluid leak
  • Nerve injury
  • New back or leg pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Recurrent disc herniation

Prior to the procedure

  • Exercise is encouraged.
  • Discontinue blood thinners such as aspirin, Plavix, Motrin, Aleve, Coumadin. Avoid weight loss supplements and fish oil.
  • Quitting smoking and/or drinking 6 weeks prior to the procedure is encouraged.

After the Procedure

  • Your doctor may ask you to wear a back brace and limit your activity for 6 weeks as the spine heals. These restrictions include no bending, lifting, or twisting.
  • Contact your doctor of there is fever, bleeding or drainage from the wound.

Lumbar Discectomy FAQs

How soon can I drive after the procedure?2022-03-04T18:30:51+00:00

It may not be safe to drive immediately after the procedure due to the effects of anesthetics and pain medications. Discuss this with your doctor.

The above information is for general education purposes only. Please ask your doctor specific questions during your visit.

Lumbar Discectomy is a procedure to decompress/un-pinch a bulging or herniated disc. Bulging or herniated discs are common conditions that can cause spinal disorders. A lumbar discectomy is a procedure where a surgeon will approach the spine posteriorly or from the backside. A small incision is made and a little bit of the bone is removed. A microscope or endoscope is then utilized to allow for enhanced visualization of the nerves and the disc material. Once the nerves and discs have been identified, the portion of the disc that is pinching the nerve is removed.

The disc is typically a soft structure and is vulnerable to disease and injury. If some of the disc is dislocated it can pinch a nerve causing resulting pain. The procedure to remove a portion of the disc in an attempt to relieve pain is called discectomy and is by large performed on an outpatient basis. A patient can expect to be discharged from the facility shortly after this procedure in many cases. At Precision Spine Care, our surgeons make every effort to perform this surgery using the least invasive techniques. Please talk with your surgeon for more information about this procedure.

Information on Lumbar Discectomy

Patients who have failed conservative treatment and who have pain in the buttocks, hips and thighs or sciatica with imaging of the spine demonstrating narrowing of the spinal canal or a herniated disc are candidates for this procedure.

Under general anesthesia, your doctor would expose the spine and remove a small portion of the bone in the spine to expand the previously narrowed spinal canal. This relieves pressure from the nerves. In the case of a discectomy, the doctor shaves off a portion of the disc that pinches the nerve. Both of these procedures relieve pain.

You may be in the hospital for 3-5 days for monitoring. You will work with physical therapy during that time. Some patients may need rehab after surgery. This decision may be made in the hospital or after your follow up with your doctor at the 6-week visit.

There are risks associated with any procedure:

  • Spinal fluid leak
  • Nerve injury
  • New back or leg pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Recurrent disc herniation

Prior to the procedure

  • Exercise is encouraged.
  • Discontinue blood thinners such as aspirin, Plavix, Motrin, Aleve, Coumadin. Avoid weight loss supplements and fish oil.
  • Quitting smoking and/or drinking 6 weeks prior to the procedure is encouraged.

After the Procedure

  • Your doctor may ask you to wear a back brace and limit your activity for 6 weeks as the spine heals. These restrictions include no bending, lifting, or twisting.
  • Contact your doctor of there is fever, bleeding or drainage from the wound.

Lumbar Discectomy FAQs

How soon can I drive after the procedure?2022-03-04T18:30:51+00:00

It may not be safe to drive immediately after the procedure due to the effects of anesthetics and pain medications. Discuss this with your doctor.

The above information is for general education purposes only. Please ask your doctor specific questions during your visit.

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