There are two common options in an outpatient lumbar discectomy—microdiscectomy and endoscopic (or percutaneous) discectomy.
A microdiscectomy is generally considered the gold standard for removing the herniated portion of a disc that is pressing on a nerve, as the procedure has a long history and many spine surgeons have extensive expertise in this approach.
While technically an open surgery, a microdiscectomy uses minimally invasive techniques and can be done with a relatively small incision and minimal tissue damage or disruption.
Microdiscectomy, also sometimes called microdecompression or microdiscectomy, is a minimally invasive surgical procedure performed on patients with a herniated lumbar disc. During this surgery, a surgeon will remove portions of the herniated disc to relieve pressure on the spinal nerve column.
- For leg pain, patients will normally feel pain relief almost immediately after a microdiscectomy. They will usually go home from the surgery with significant pain relief.
- For numbness, weakness, or other neurological symptoms in the leg and foot, it may take weeks or months for the nerve root to fully heal and any numbness or weakness to subside.
Who Benefits from Microdiscectomy?
According to many centers, a microdiscectomy procedure is up to 95 percent effective at eliminating sciatica pain caused by disc herniation. This compression is most often the
As the hernia develops and the damaged tissue extends into the spinal column, it pushes on the nerves. This causes the nerves to send pain signals to the brain. The pain is interpreted to be coming from the legs.
Most cases of sciatica will heal naturally without surgery in a few weeks. If the pain from sciatica lasts more than 12 weeks, you may benefit from a microdiscectomy.
During the procedure, a small part of the bone over the nerve root and/or disc material under the nerve root is taken out.
As a general rule, microdiscectomy is considered an efffective surgery for immediate, or nearly immediate, relief of sciatica from a lumbar herniated disc.