- Lumbar Spine Posterior Discectomy Micro-discectomy neuro-surgery 3D animations. Illustrates the surgical technique for performing a posterior lumbar discectomy, also known as a lumbar microdiscectomy. This procedure is used to remove part of an intervertebral disc that is compressing the spinal cord or a nerve root. Also shown is the patient position, skin preparation and incision, the surgical approach, the removal of the pathological disc and the wound closure. Lumbar Spine Posterior Discectomy Micro-discectomy neuro-surgery 3D animations.
Lumbar disc herniations are very common and often do not cause any symptoms. An acute disc herniation can cause symptoms down one or both legs, such as pain, numbness, pins and needles, and weakness. Usually these symptoms will improve without surgery in six to twelve weeks. If the symptoms are not controlled after six to twelve weeks of conservative treatments, then your surgeon will consider operating.
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However, if the herniated disc is pushing on spinal nerves and causing severe uncontrollable pain, or marked weakness, or bowel or bladder problems, then urgent surgery will be considered. The size of the bulge is not related to the amount of pain or leg symptoms.
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A herniated disc's contents can not be pushed back into place, but it will often dry out and shrink away by itself.
During the microdiscectomy, only the loose parts of the nucleus within the disc and spinal canal are removed. The annulus tear can not be repaired, but it usually heals over time by scarring, and the back pain may settle with it. A discectomy is not performed for back pain, rather to relieve the pressure on the nerves, and the consequent leg symptoms. Lumbar Spine Posterior Discectomy Micro-discectomy neuro-surgery 3D animations.
An urgent discectomy is recommended for patients with severe leg weakness or pain, and if there are bladder or bowel problems. These problems include an inability to pass urine, or numbness in the crotch or buttocks. If leg weakness is not improving, or symptoms are not improving after six weeks, then surgery can be considered.
The alternatives to discectomy are
weight loss
pain-relieving medication
physical therapy
hydrotherapy, and
avoiding bending, lifting, twisting and prolonged sitting.
The use of acupuncture is controversial.
The aim of a micro-discectomy is to remove the protruding part of the intervertebral disc.
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You will be placed in a kneeling position. The skin will be cleaned. An incision will be made in the middle of the back. The overlying muscles will be moved to the side. Your surgeon will confirm the correct vertebrae for the procedure by using x-ray imaging. The ligamentum flavum will be separated from the lamina. Then part of the lamina will be removed to make more space. The ligamentum flavum will then be removed. The nerves will be retracted to the side. The posterior longitudinal ligament will have a window cut into it. Then the disc herniation is visible. The damaged disc fragment is removed. The muscles are replaced, and the skin is closed with sutures. Lumbar Spine Posterior Discectomy Micro-discectomy neuro-surgery 3D animations.

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