Discectomy refers to a procedure in which lumbar (low back) herniated disc material is removed due to the pressure it has on the nerve root or the spinal cord. Discectomy is most effective in relieving the pain of the arms or legs rather than that of back or neck. It is used if the nonsurgical treatments do not achieve any especial success. However, the surgical progresses make discectomy to be done with the improved and less invasive processes.
Microdiscectomy is a kind of discectomy in which a special monitor is used to show the procedure of the surgery with the better quality of vision allowing the surgeon to performs a small incision. However, discectomy is not regarded as a permanent treatment and the recurrences of pain is a common issue after the surgery.
It must be mentioned that the disease can be prevented if you follow some techniques such as proper lifting techniques and gestures during the daily activities, gaining a healthy weight, management of stress and avoiding smoking.
The discectomy is done to relieve the pain caused by pressure on the herniated disk. It is recommended in conditions when:
- the patient suffers from the remarkable pain, weakness and numbness in the areas of the back and feet that creates some problems in his/her standing, walking and the other daily activities;
- the non-surgical treatments for example physical therapy or steroid injections do not resolve the problems after at least 4 weeks.
Similar to other surgical procedures, discectomy may include complications such as:
- The procedure may not result in any better condition than other treatments;
- The surgery may cause the spinal fluid leaks;
- Damage to the spine and the tissues around.
There will be some restrictions for the patient after the surgery. Thus, after the surgery, the patient should prevent following activities for at least two weeks:
- Bending, lifting any object, driving and twisting;
- The intensive activities including yardwork, housework and having sex;
- Smoking as well as drinking alcohol simultaneous to taking narcotic medication.