How is the Microdiscectomy procedure performed?
After creating a small incision directly over the herniated disc, the surgeon creates a small window in the lamina (the bone covering the spinal canal). The pinched nerve root and the herniated discs can be seen through this opening.
The surgeon uses a nerve retractor to gently move the spinal nerve away from the herniated disc. The herniated portion of the disc is removed, eliminating pressure on the nerve root. Only the damaged portion of the disc is removed, leaving any healthy disc material to perform its function as a cushion between the vertebrae. The tools are removed, and the spinal nerve returns to its normal position. The incision is closed.
How long will it take to recover?
You will experience discomfort when you wake from surgery. Most patients will go home that day. Your pain will be managed with narcotics for about 1-2 weeks then you can move to Tylenol. Your doctor should approve you for light desk work in about one to two weeks depending on your specific condition. More physically demanding work requires four to six weeks for a full recovery. Be sure to follow your post-op instructions.
What are the risks?
As with most spinal surgeries there is a risk of bleeding, infection and reactions to anesthesia.
When should I call my doctor?
You should call us if you experience:
- A temperature of 101.1° or above.
- Increasing redness and swelling at the incision site.
- Chest pain or shortness of breath.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Changes in the amount, appearance, or odor of drainage from your incision.
- New or increased changes in sensation/presence of numbness in extremities.
- Severe pain that is not relieved by medication and rest.
- Problems with your walking or balance
- Questions or problems not covered by these instructions