What Is Lumbar Microdiskectomy Surgery?


Quick Answer

Lumbar microdiskectomy surgery is an operation performed to remove herniated disk material that is pressing against the spinal cord or a nerve root, states WebMD. This surgery utilizes a special microscope that views the nerves and the herniated disk. This view enables a surgeon to make a slighter incision, causing less injury to adjacent tissue. A surgeon may first perform a laminotomy to remove the lamina from the affected vertebra in order to better observe the herniated disc.

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Lumbar microdiskectomy surgery is often necessary when a person has symptoms such as severe leg pain, numbness or weakness that interferes with daily activities, notes WebMD. Other reasons that call for this operation include leg symptoms that fail to improve after about a month of nonsurgical treatment or when a physical exam indicates that surgery is likely to improve weakness, an unusual feeling or loss of motion. Urgent surgery is vital when a person has cauda equina syndrome. The signs of this condition include a new numbness in the legs, genital area or buttocks; a new weakness in the legs; or a new loss in bladder or bowel control.

The risks associated with lumbar microdiskectomy surgery include the risk of infection, risks related to anesthesia and the minor risk of damaging the nerves or the spine, explains WebMD. There is also the chance that the surgery might not work or that it might not make any notable difference in comparison with other treatment.

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