A lumbar microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive spine surgery procedure intended to remove part of a bone or disc that is pressing on a nerve in the lower back. It is commonly used to treat the following conditions:
Your spine doctor may recommend a microdiscectomy procedure if you have one of these conditions, and your pain isn’t helped by more conservative treatments like medications, steroid injections, or physical therapy. Lumbar microdiscectomy is a safe procedure with a high success rate, especially when it is performed by an experienced surgeon.
A lumbar microdiscectomy requires an incision of only one to two inches. This small incision means you’ll experience a faster recovery, less scarring, lower risk of infection, pain, and bleeding. Once the bone or disc pressing on the nerve is removed, you should quickly feel pain relief. You may also be relieved of any numbness, tingling, or weakness in your legs within a few weeks as the nerve heals.
You may need to stop taking certain medicines, such as blood thinners and over-the-counter painkillers, before your procedure. Always tell your surgeon what medicines you are taking, including any herbs or supplements. Your doctor will tell you when to stop taking these medicines before surgery.
You should not have food or drink after midnight before your surgery. You’ll also need someone to drive you home from surgery and care for you.
During surgery, you will be asleep under general anesthesia. A trusted anesthesiologist, our expert spine surgeon, surgical physician assistant, and nurses will be with you at all times.
You will lay on your stomach during surgery. Once you are asleep, the spine surgeon will make a small incision in your back. The surgeon will carefully move the muscles in your back out of the way in order to gain access to your spine. Your surgeon will then use a surgical microscope to view the nerves, discs, and bones in your spine.
The surgeon will then carefully remove parts of the disc or bones that have been pressing on the nerve. Once enough material is removed, they will put the muscles back into place and sew up the incision. The entire procedure takes anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes.
After the surgery is complete, you’ll be moved to the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) where you will slowly wake up and be cared for by skilled nurses. They will monitor your blood pressure, breathing, pulse, and other vital signs.
Because lumbar discectomy is an outpatient procedure, you should be able to go home after about an hour or two in the PACU. Your surgeon will give you medication to control any post-surgery pain you experience. They will also give you instructions regarding the things you can and can’t do after surgery.
You should be able to return to normal activities quickly. You should walk a few hours after surgery and return to other non-strenuous activities within a few days.
Faisal Siddiqui, MD, the experienced spine surgeon at The Spine Care Center, performs hundreds of microdiscectomies each year. His careful and compassionate approach to surgery helps his patients experience better outcomes, a faster recovery, and long-term pain relief.
If your pain is not improving, a lumbar microdiscectomy could help you find the back pain relief you deserve. Call The Spine Care Center in Manassas or request an appointment online to learn if this procedure is right for you.