A microdiscectomy is a surgical procedure to remove a herniated disc. Herniated discs produce pain, and may produce abnormal motion, or misalignment of your spine.
Discs are rubbery shock absorbers between the vertebrae and are close to nerves that travel down to the legs. If the disc is damaged, part of it may bulge or even burst free into the spinal canal, putting pressure on the nerve and causing leg pain, numbness or weakness.
Our spine surgeons will recommend the use of minimally invasive procedures where appropriate. Out of the 1,000 spine surgeries we perform each year, our surgeons use minimally invasive techniques for half of those.
Your surgeon will make a very small incision with a small tube and spread the muscle fibers without detaching them. Then, after identifying the nerves, and move them aside, your surgeon will removed the herniated portion of the disc. Not cutting the muscles leads to much less tissue damage, aiding your recovery and pain after surgery.
If you had a minimally invasive microdiscectomy, your recovery will be faster than traditional, open surgery. However, you are still healing so you need to remember to take it easy.
After surgery, our nurses will make sure to move you from the bed to a recliner. Studies prove that patients recover much more quickly when they get up and walk around shortly after surgery. This improves blood flow and healing.
You can probably expect to return to light activities two to three weeks following surgery. About four to six weeks after surgery, you should be able to return to all of your regular activities.