Sciatica Pain Microdiscectomy surgery

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Microdiscectomy Surgery as a Sciatica Pain Treatment

Most people who experience sciatica pain will respond very well to conservative treatment options including medication and chiropractic care. But there are some situations where a microdiscectomy surgical treatment is recommended, especially in the case of spinal stenosis, neurological dysfunction or when symptoms have become so severe that non-surgical management isn’t working.

Sciatica Pain Treatments –Microdiscectomy Surgery

The purpose of a minimally invasive microdiscectomy surgery is to decompress the affected sciatic nerve or to remove a herniated disc or bone fragment that is pressing on it.  With new technology, endoscopic surgery allows for a much smaller incision and decreased disruption of muscles and tissue, resulting in a quicker recovery time.

Is Microdiscectomy Surgery the Right Sciatica Pain Treatment for You?

Discectomy is used to alleviate symptoms of a herniated disc. A disc herniation happens when the nucleus inside the center of the disc pushes through the annulus, the ligaments surrounding the nucleus. The herniated disc material may push outward, which puts pressure on surrounding nerves and often causes pain and other symptoms. Numbness or weakness in the arm occurs when the nucleus pushes on the spinal nerve root. Of greater concern is a condition in which the nucleus herniates straight backward into the spinal cord, called a central herniation. Discectomy relieves pressure on the ligaments, nerves (including the sciatic nerve), or spinal cord.

Discectomy alone is usually only used for younger patients (20 to 45 years old) whose sciatica pain symptoms are the result of herniation in a spinal disc. However, some surgeons think discectomy should always be combined with fusion of the bones above and below the area that is damaged. They are concerned that the empty space where the disc was removed may eventually collapse and fill in with bone. Inserting a bone block during fusion surgery helps keep pressure off the spinal nerves because the graft widens the neural foramina. The neural foramina are openings on each side of the vertebrae where the sciatic and other nerves exit the spinal canal. Most research on microdiscectomy by itself shows good short-term benefits compared to discectomy with fusion. But more information is needed about whether the long-term results are equally as good.

The minimally invasive microdiscectomy surgery as a sciatica pain treatment can be performed in an outpatient facility. Medication will be prescribed for the patient to treat pain and inflammation during the healing process. Physical therapy may also be recommended to assist the patient in increasing range of motion and strengthening the core. Strengthening the core may also help to prevent future sciatica pain and injuries. Exercises may be given to complete at home on a daily basis in front of a mirror to confirm form. Although recovery time is shorter than traditional open spine surgeries, the patient should avoid lifting heavy objects or doing strenuous activities until healing is complete. Other activities may be approved by the surgeon as the patient feels able.

At-a-Glance: Microdiscectomy Surgery as a Sciatica Pain Treatment

  • The Microdiscectomy surgery incision measures less than 1” wide
  • Muscles are not dissected during the surgical process so that healing can be quicker and less painful
  • Minimally invasive microdiscectomy surgery recovery time is usually quicker than traditional open spine surgeries for most patients
  • As a sciatica pain treatment, microdiscectomy surgery is an outpatient procedure

Health Tips – Symptoms Alleviated by Microdiscectomy Surgery as a Treatment for Sciatica Pain

If you experience any of these reactions to a new medication, call 911 immediately

  • Back pain
  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Cramping
  • Burning

Health Tips

  • Always eat breakfast
  • Eat your fruit and veg
  • Take time to shop each week
  • Sit down at the table to eat
  • Get adequate rest daily.

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