Lumbar Discectomy

Are you tired of Back Pain? Herniated Disc? Sciatica? Radiculopathy?

You are in the right place.

Surgical techniques have advanced from the traditional ‘open’ surgery. In the past, enormous incisions were made for open surgery, and muscles that got in the way were frequently destroyed. We are now able to treat many back pain disorders on an outpatient basis with treatments such as minimally invasive lumbar discectomy to alleviate your pain. This type of treatment is only reserved for patients who failed other treatments Spine Treatments. Diskectomy is a procedure to remove the damaged part of a herniated disk. Such treatment may correct the root of the problem as it removes the disc herniation compressing your spinal nerves.

What are the conditions treated by Discectomy?


Herniated Disc:
The intervertebral discs are complex structures that consist of a thick outer ring of fibrous cartilage termed the annulus fibrosus, which surrounds a more gelatinous core known as the nucleus pulposus. The gelatinous core can break through the outer fibrous layer leading to compression of adjacent nerves. It also causes severe acute irritation and inflammation. Inflammation and compression both contribute to the pain. Because the walls of the discs are so densely supplied with nerve fibers, a tear in the wall can also result in excruciating pain, weakness, numbness, or alterations in sensation.


Degenerative Disc Disease. Due to aging process, intervertebral discs start to deteriorate and degenerate. Small fissures and tears develop in the outer layer while inner gelatinous layer hardens. This process leads to discs losing height and elasticity. Therefore, spaces between the vertebrae become narrow and tight. Combined with spine arthritis, the spine loses its natural healthy shape and nerves become “pinched”.


Spinal Stenosis:
Spinal stenosis happens when the space inside the backbone is too small. This can occur due to facet joint arthritis and ligamentum Flavum thickening; a ligament that holds the vertebra together. Some people with spinal stenosis may develop no symptoms. Others may experience pain, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness especially with walking. Hallmark of this condition is pain relief with forward flexion.

What are the types of Diskectomy?

Percutaneous Discectomy: A small percutaneous probe is inserted through a needle puncture in the skin. Under fluoroscopy (x-ray) guidance, the probe is advanced into the disc and a small portion of the central part of the disc is gently removed. Percutaneous discectomy is an effective treatment for pain especially for patients suffering from sciatica or radiating leg pain caused by disc herniation.

Endoscopic Discectomy: A small incision is made in the skin. Under fluoroscopy guidance, a probe is advanced gently to the herniated disc location. Then an endoscope with a camera is inserted through the probe. The camera allows your doctor to view the herniated disc and compressed. Special instruments are then inserted through the endoscope to remove the extruded disc material.

Microdiscectomy: This is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a specially designed operating microscope that illuminates and magnifies the surgical field. Magnification and fluoroscopic techniques also give your doctor a better view without damaging the surrounding tissue. Microdiscectomy is an advanced surgical procedure and considered the gold standard for open discectomy.

What are the risks of a lumbar discectomy?

Every medical procedure has risks. Risks for this surgery include:

Infection, excess bleeding, blood clots, injury to nearby nerves, allergic reaction to anesthetic agents, recurrence of disc herniation.

Are there any activity limitations after discectomy?

Plan to rest for 1-3 days after your Disc-FX procedure in a comfortable position

Lying down or reclined with your head lifted up, a pillow underneath your knees and hips bent comfortably

Avoid lying in the face down position

Appropriate pain and anti-inflammatory medication for any post-operative discomfort

Ice pack on the entry site on and off for the first three days

LSO brace to be worn at least two weeks to help avoid re-herniation

Limit sitting and walking to 10-20 minutes at a time for the first week, slowly increase in the second week and beyond.

– Walking is good for your lower back, however keep in mind that 3 short walks are better than one long one

Driving – No long-distance driving for the first 2 weeks. (See sitting recommendation above)

Avoid fast uncontrolled movements plus bending or twisting of the lower back for 6 weeks

Tips For Getting Up Correctly:

  • Lying: Turn onto your side and get up using your hands while keeping a straight back
  • Sitting: Use your arms to get up while keeping a straight back (follow the same recommendation for sitting down)


  • Limit to 5 pounds for the first 2 weeks
  • Limit to 10 pounds for weeks 3-6
  • Limit to 25 pounds for weeks 6-12

Gradually return to regular daily activity without heavy lifting or backwards bending of the spine for at least 6 weeks

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