Lower back pain can plague your life. If you don’t feel discomfort or pain consistently, then it can arrive unexpectedly and steal attention away from your spouse, children, or friends. In some cases, lower back pain is the result of a herniated disc. The discomfort that follows a herniated disc can range from non-existent to excruciating. Depending on the individual and the disc, the motivation to remedy a herniated disc can vary, too. That’s why in this post your orthopedic specialist in Johnstown wants to share what a lumbar microdiscectomy is and how it can help you find pain relief.
Why Is Lumbar Microdiscectomy Surgery Recommended?
For most patients, pain is the primary motivator for surgery. They’ve tried all other options, and they simply want to find relief. Here are some of the common reasons patients go see their orthopedic specialist for surgery:
- Discomfort, numbness, or pain in their lower back, buttocks, or legs.
- Numbness or pain does not improve after four weeks of non-invasive pain relief treatments.
- A physical exam shows loss of motion, movement, range, or strength in your back.
How Is A Lumbar Microdiscectomy Performed?
A lumbar microdiscectomy begins with a spine consultation between you and your orthopedic specialist in Johnstown. Before any surgical procedures are completed, you and your spine doctor determine if its the best option for you to find pain relief from a herniated disc. In many cases, a lumbar surgery is a near-last resort to experiencing pain relief.
Once the decision is made to operate, your surgical appointment will be scheduled. Your doctor will go over pre-surgery protocol to ensure your surgery is a success. This includes how you eat, drink, and sleep up until your actual surgery. It’s imperative you follow your doctor’s instructions to help get the best possible outcome.
For your surgery, you will be placed under general anesthesia, which means you will be unconscious during your surgery. Your doctor will make a small vertical incision in your lower back, which allows for the microscope and instruments to perform the surgery.
Once your doctor gains access to your spine, he will assess your spine. In some cases, the doctor will perform what’s called a laminectomy, a procedure to remove a small bone (lamina) from the determined vertebrae to gain better access to the herniated disc.
After your doctor gains access to your herniated disc, he will then remove the portion of the disc that is compressing nerves, which marks the completion of the invasive portion of the surgery.
What To Expect After Lumbar Microdiscectomy Surgery
After your surgery, you can expect some soreness in your back and limited mobility. You will be encouraged to vacate your bed and move around as soon as the anesthesia wears off. You may experience some discomfort or pain, and your doctor will be able to help you manage it with medication.
Here are some other post-surgery outcomes to consider:
- You may feel uncomfortable sitting or standing for longer than 20 minutes at a time.
- You will want to walk and move around, gently, as often as you can for the first few weeks post-surgery.
- You may be recommended a rehabilitation program to reduce scar tissue forming.