When is it Time to Consider a Lumbar Discectomy?

Category: Minimally Invasive Surgery, Procedures | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: February 7, 2014

lumbar discectomy surgeryPersistent pain in the back and legs is often the result of a spinal disc interacting negatively with the nerves, muscles, and tissues in the surrounding area. Long-lasting treatment for these conditions often requires surgical intervention. A Lumbar Discectomy is one such procedure that may be helpful if you have chronic back or leg pain. Read on to learn more about this procedure and when it might be the right fit for you.

What is a Discectomy?

A Discectomy is a fancy medical term for a surgical procedure in which a herniated spinal disc is removed. This is done in order to relieve pressure on the pressured nerve that is causing pain and/or numbness.

Discectomies can be performed in the cervical (neck) or lumbar (lower back) regions. During the procedure, the surgeon will make an incision and remove the disc and any other loose material that may be affecting the nerve or spinal cord. This is a minimally invasive procedure that is quick (taking only a few hours), and results in less pain than other traditional spine surgeries.

Who can Benefit from a Lumbar Discectomy?

Discectomies are most commonly done in the lumbar (lower back) region of the spine. The procedure can help to relieve pain in a number of situations. Patients with any of the following conditions or symptoms may be good candidates for this procedure:

  • Intense leg pain, or numbness/weakness in the legs that lasts for several weeks (especially after attempting non-surgical treatments).
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Numbness or weakness

Consult with your physician if you have any of the above symptoms. A physical exam, patient history, and imaging tests will allow your doctor to determine whether or not a lumbar discectomy might be the best option for your treatment.

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