Microdiscectomy is a type of minimally invasive spine surgery that allows surgeons to treat a number of spinal disorders such as:

  • Degenerative disk
  • Herniated disk
  • Spinal fractures
  • Spinal tumors
  • Infections
  • Instability

The procedure

Surgeons use a special microscope to see the damaged disk and compressed nerves. This enables them to make more precise incisions with less damage to neighboring tissue. Microdiscectomy can decrease pain and restore normal movement and function and is considered for patients who:

  • Have severe leg pain, numbness or weakness that prevents normal functioning
  • Fail to improve after at least four weeks of nonsurgical treatment
  • Are likely to show improvement after surgery, based on a physical examination
  • Have cauda equina syndrome, requiring emergency intervention

Benefits of Microdiscectomy

  • Smaller incisions
  • Reduced blood loss
  • Less pain
  • Smaller scars
  • Reduced muscle retraction
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Quicker recovery
  • Faster return to normal activities

After surgery

To help with your recovery, we will encourage you to walk as soon as possible. You will receive medication to help control your pain. Activities will be light at first, gradually increasing as your healing progresses. Some post-operative adjustments may include:

  • Discomfort sitting: You may find it difficult to sit for more than 15 to 20 minutes at a time, although this will ease with recovery.
  • Walking frequently: Especially in the first several weeks, walking a great deal will assist in healing and lessen the likelihood of too much scar tissue forming.
  • Work schedule: You may return to office work after two to four weeks, and to physical labor after four to eight weeks.
  • Physical therapy: Your physician may encourage physical rehabilitation to help restore you to a full and active lifestyle.
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