Lumbar Discectomy and Laminectomy
The procedure you are referring to is called a minimally invasive lumbar discectomy. It is a surgical procedure commonly used to treat herniated discs in the lumbar spine.
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Neurosurgeon, discusses lumbar discectomy and laminectomy.
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What is Lumbar Discectomy and Laminectomy?
These procedures are used to address specific conditions causing back pain. In the case of a lumbar microdiscectomy, a small incision is made in the back to access the compressed nerves. Through microsurgical techniques, the surgeon removes the herniated disc or bone spurs causing the nerve compression. This procedure typically takes around 45 minutes to an hour, with minimal blood loss.
Lumbar laminectomy is another common operation where a portion of the lamina (a part of the vertebral bone) is removed to alleviate pressure on the spinal cord or nerves. The goal is to create more space within the spinal canal to relieve symptoms such as pain or numbness. The procedure is similar to a microdiscectomy in terms of incision size and recovery.
It's important for the surgeon to carefully correlate clinical findings (symptoms and physical examination) with imaging findings (such as MRI or CT scans) to determine the appropriate treatment approach.
While surgery may be necessary for certain cases of back pain, non-surgical options can also be considered. These can include working with professionals like massage therapists, personal trainers for muscle strength, and physiotherapists for release and conditioning. These approaches aim to address muscle tension, improve strength, and enhance overall physical conditioning, which can help manage and prevent certain back conditions.
It's essential to consult with a healthcare professional to discuss your specific situation and determine the most suitable treatment options.
Using microsurgical techniques we expose the nerves that are compressed and remove the offending herniated disc or bone spurs that are causing nerve compression, and this is an example of a disc herniation that may cause pressure on the nerves.
And again that’s a fairly quick operation with a very good success rate often requiring no more than 45 minutes to an hour of surgical time, blood loss is minimal, perhaps no more than two teaspoons of blood is lost, and patients are usually up and about within a few hours of surgery and quite often they can leave the same day. Sometimes it may require an overnight stay. In treating this condition, often seeing a local massage therapist for muscle tension, a local personal trainer for muscle strength and a physiotherapist for release and conditioning is a good option.
And these surgeries are actually very effective in relieving symptoms of sciatica, so pain, numbness, weakness in the legs, and the response is almost always immediate. Sometimes lumbar fusion surgery is necessary, which is a bigger operation, and the indications are very different.
Lumbar fusion is necessary if somebody has a deformity or instability in the spine. It’s a bigger operation, but even so with current techniques available we can usually do that surgery through fairly small incisions. Nevertheless, it does require a few more days in the hospital.
But the important thing to recognize is that lumbar fusion is very rarely necessary for sciatica or spinal stenosis. It can be helpful for situations of back pain, but the clinical symptoms need to be correlated with the imaging findings. Often seeing a local family physician or a physiotherapist in conjunction with a registered dietitian and athletic therapist is a great option to take control of this condition. Smart Food Now and exercise is also optominal for overall health.
So one of the most important things to recognize and appreciate is that while spine surgery can be very helpful, it is reserved for a specific condition such as disc herniations, spinal stenosis, spinal deformity, and it’s rarely needed for situations such as back pain alone, which is usually treated conservatively. Treated by a local Physiotherapist
When spine surgery is necessary, there are a number of different options in terms of how to perform the surgery, but the important thing to recognize is that if the indications are correct, and the correct surgery is chosen, the results with spinal surgical procedures are very satisfying.
Here's a step-by-step overview of the procedure:
Anesthesia: The patient is given either general anesthesia, which makes them unconscious during the procedure, or local anesthesia with sedation, which numbs the area while keeping the patient awake but relaxed.
Incision: A small incision is made in the skin, typically in the midline of the back over the area where the herniated disc is located. The size of the incision is usually around 1-2 inches.
Muscle Displacement: The surgeon carefully separates the muscles surrounding the spine and moves them to the side. Special retractors may be used to hold the muscles apart and provide access to the spine.
Visualization: With the muscles displaced, the surgeon gains a clear view of the vertebrae and the herniated disc.
Removal of Disc Material: The surgeon uses specialized surgical instruments, such as a microscope or an endoscope, to remove the portion of the herniated disc that is causing compression on the spinal nerves. This can involve removing the disc material or trimming a part of the disc to alleviate pressure on the nerves.
Closure: After the disc material is removed, the retractors are removed, and the muscles are repositioned back to their original place. The incision is then closed with sutures or surgical staples.
Minimally invasive lumbar discectomy offers several advantages over traditional open surgery, including smaller incisions, less muscle and tissue disruption, reduced blood loss, and faster recovery times. However, it's important to note that the specific details of the procedure can vary depending on the surgeon's techniques and the patient's condition. It's best to consult with a qualified healthcare professional for personalized information and advice regarding this procedure.