Discectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the damaged portion of a herniated disk in your lower back (lumbar). A herniated disk can irritate or compress nearby nerves and cause pain, numbness or weakness. These symptoms can affect your neck or back or may radiate down your arms or legs. Dr. Raskas may suggest a discectomy if conservative, nonsurgical treatments haven’t worked or if your symptoms worsen. He prefers minimally invasive discectomy using a special microscope to view the disc and nerves (microdiscectomy). This larger view allows him to use smaller incisions.
How Does this Procedure Work?
The surgery is performed with you positioned on your stomach. Dr. Raskas will make a small incision and gently separate muscle and a tubular retractor is inserted to create a portal through which he may perform surgery. He will remove a portion of the lamina (bony vertebral element that covers the posterior portion of the spinal canal) exposing the compressed area of the spinal cord or nerve root(s). Pressure will be relieved when the source of compression, all or part of a herniated disc or a rough protrusion of bone called a bone spur, is removed. The small incision is closed, which typically only leaves behind a minimal scar.
Because every patient is unique and treatment options range from minimally invasive back surgery to advanced surgical procedures, recovery varies greatly among his patients and is dependent on the extent of your surgery, age and health.
For more information about a lumbar microdiscectomy or other spinal surgery options to treat back pain, contact Dr. David S. Raskas at 314-442-4452.