Minimally Invasive Discectomy

Minimally invasive discectomy is performed for patients with disc herniation that have exhausted non-operative treatment. With discectomy, only the protruding disc material is removed, not the whole disc. This is performed through a small incision in the lower back. The muscles are elevated and retracted off the bony arch and roof of the spine (lamina) to gain access to the spine. The spinal canal is entered by removing a membrane in between the lamina and over the nerve roots (ligamentum flavum). Often, a small portion of the inside facet joint is removed, both to enable access to the nerve root and to remove pressure on the nerve. Under microscope magnification, the nerve root is then gently moved to the side and the disc material is removed from under the nerve root. The disc is then entered to remove any further loose disc fragment within it.

Good relief from leg symptoms following discectomy surgery usually occurs in approximately 70 – 80% of cases. The results of the operation are however not nearly as reliable for the relief of lower back pain. Much of the back pain experienced comes from the damaged disc and associated muscular spasms, therefore, discectomy surgery cannot eliminate this and it should not be regarded as the main aim of the surgery.

Minimally Invasive Discectomy

Disclaimer

The medical conditions and treatments outlined on this website are of a general nature. Information given is not intended as specific medical advice pertaining to any given patient and should be seen as a broad guide only. You must not rely on the information provided on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other health care professionals. If you have any specific questions about a medical condition, please consult your health care professional or contact Dr Lee’s rooms for a consultation and advice.