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Relieving Pressure with Microdiscectomy

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Relieving Pressure with Microdiscectomy

  • Dr. Charla Fischer
  • Feb 18, 2021

One of the most common types of minimally invasive spine surgeries is microdiscectomy, which involves removing a part of a disc along your spine that is placing stress on a nerve and causing pain. Traditionally performed using an open surgery technique, microdiscectomy now can benefit from the advantages of minimally invasive surgery. Instead of a large incision and potential damage to back muscles or other tissues, specialized tools are used to make small incisions and provide a faster, less painful recovery. 

The primary goal of microdiscectomy is to relieve pressure from the nerves associated with your back pain. It may be that a portion of a disc between two vertebrae has broken and begun pressing on a nerve along your spinal cord. Or, the disc may simply be bulging onto a nerve and causing pain. These are the two most common reasons that spine surgeon Dr. Fischer in New York City performs the microdiscectomy procedure.

There are three main ways that microdiscectomies are usually performed by a spine surgeon. These include endoscopic, tubular, and mini-open. Each of these involves different techniques and the best one for your condition will be determined by an experienced physician like Dr. Fischer. Each of these surgeries requires general anesthesia and the removal of a portion of the disc that is causing pain by pressing on a nerve or the spinal cord. Usually only a small part of a disc is removed instead of an entire disc. Dr. Fischer uses extra care to avoid nerves during surgery for the best possible outcome.

All surgeries carry some amount of risk, such as infection or excessive bleeding. Some additional risks of microdiscectomy include unintentionally leaving behind a portion of disc material or injuring the spinal cord, blood vessels or nerves. Some patients find that a disc may become herniated again or pain can return even after the procedure. Your doctor can help you decide if the potential success of microdiscectomy outweighs the possible risks.

Many patients have great success with microdiscectomy surgery and are able to return to their normal routine within a couple of weeks. You will be advised when it’s safe to begin exercise and other activities. Significant or total pain relief is possible with this type of spine surgery, so speak with Dr. Fischer to learn if it is right for you.

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