Lumbar microdiscectomy

Lumbar microdiscectomy / microsurgical decompression

Lumbar prolapsed intervertebral disc (slip disc) or canal stenosis (narrowing) results in pinching of the nerve roots causing symptoms of pain shooting down the legs or sensation of heaviness numbness and tingling on walking certain distance which is usually relieved by rest.

We normally get a MRI to see the details of the nerves and a flexion and extension Xray of the Lumbar spine to see if there is any instability in the bones.

Initially we treat with medicines and physiotherapy and if symptoms donot improve satisfactorily with conservative treatment we offer microsurgical decompression of the lumbar spine if the Xrays donot show any instability.

Procedure of surgery

The patient usually needs to be admitted in hospital one day prior to surgery for preoperative tests and presurgical assessment by the anaesthetic team. The surgery usually takes about an hour. The surgery can be done using a skin cut of as small as about 2cm. We put in dissolvable sitiches underneath the skin which donot require removal and the patient can have shower from the next day.

The patient is mobilised out of bed a few hours after surgery and usually can be discharged from the hospital a day or two after the surgery

Home care after surgery

The patient is shown some simple exercises to carry out at home and is encouraged to walk and gradually return to normal activities over te next 3 to 4 weeks. We ask for a follow up visit with the doctor 4 weeks after the surgery

MRI is showing slip disc at L5S1. The disc fragment compressing the nerve was removed by minimally invasive spine microsurgery using a 2cm skin cut