Lumbar discectomy treatment is the removal of the herniated or bulging part of an intervertebral disc in your lower back. It is performed to relieve the pressure the bulging disc is exerting on nearby spinal nerves.
Nowadays, lumbar discectomy is often performed using minimally invasive surgery called microdiscectomy.
Here at Ramsay, our hospitals and their qualified and expert spinal surgeons regularly perform lumbar discectomy as a stand-alone procedure or part of a combination of lumbar spine decompression procedures.
We perform microdiscectomy whenever clinically appropriate to allow patients to recover from their lower back pain as quickly as possible. We also have qualified physiotherapists and a fully equipped modern imaging service at most of our hospitals.
Your spinal discs are cushion-like shock absorbers for your spine. When a disc slips, herniates, or bulges out of position, it can push on your spinal nerves and this nerve compression causes lower back and leg (sciatic) pain, pins and needles and, numbness in your leg. A slipped disc is the most common cause of lower (lumbar) back pain.
Lumbar discectomy is a type of spinal decompression surgery used to relieve the pressure that a herniated or slipped disc causes as it presses on the nerves in your spinal column.
A discectomy can be performed by traditional open surgery or using minimally invasive techniques, known as microdiscectomy.
Microdiscectomy, also known as a minimally invasive discectomy, is a discectomy carried out through a smaller incision. It is one of the most common minimally invasive spinal procedures.
During microdiscectomy, a special microscope and tiny surgical instruments are inserted into your lower spinal column through a small incision and the herniated section of your prolapsed disc is removed so that it no longer puts pressure on your nerve.
The advantages of microdiscectomy over open discectomy are: that it can be performed in an outpatient setting and you can go home the same day, smaller incisions are made, less blood loss, lower risk of infection, a faster recovery and, reduced postoperative pain and medication use.
• Lumbar slipped disc and sciatica – when your disc becomes worn or injured its soft centre can push out of its normal space. This is known as a slipped or herniated disc and it can press on nearby nerves in your spine causing lower back pain and pain in your legs, known as sciatica.
• Degenerative disc disease – as your disc naturally wears, it dries out and shrinks and, loses its cushioning ability, whilst bone spurs form and your facet joints inflame. This can lead to spinal stenosis or disc herniation.
Lumbar discectomy surgery is a procedure to remove part of the disc that is pressing on a nerve. It's carried out under general anaesthetic.
In open discectomy your surgeon will make an incision over the affected area of your spine down to the bony arch of your vertebra, called the lamina. They will gently move tissue and the nerve to access your slipped disc and remove the disc part that is pressing on your nerve. They will then close the incision.
Sometimes, depending on your diagnosis, lumbar discectomy is combined with other spinal decompression surgery techniques such as laminectomy and spinal fusion, to allow the best method of creating space for your nerves so that they are not compressed.
As with any surgery complications may occur including: pain, bleeding, incision site infection, scarring and, blood clots.
Lumbar discectomy is commonly performed and is generally a safe procedure.
Possible complications specific to lumbar discectomy surgery may include:
• nerve injury and paralysis
• loss of bladder or bowel control
• continued pain or numbness down your leg
• infection of the intervertebral disc.
If you decide to pay for your treatment, Ramsay offer an all-inclusive Total Care package, where a single one-off payment at a pre-agreed price, delivering direct access to all the treatment you need for complete reassurance. You can also spread the cost of your treatment with finance options available.
A lumbar discectomy surgery may be covered by your medical insurance policy. We advise you to check directly with your insurance provider and get written confirmation before commencing treatment.
If you have had microdiscectomy you may go home the same day. For open discectomy patients you might have an overnight stay in hospital.
Lumbar discectomy recovery varies from one to four weeks depending on the exact condition being treated, they type of surgery performed and, your general health. You should follow your surgeon’s advices regarding your individual recovery plan.
Mr Sujit Agarwal
Mr Sujit Agarwal is a Consultant Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgeon in Halesowen, West MidlandsRead more
Mr Mushtaq Ahmed
Mr Ahmed is a Consultant Orthopaedic surgeon specialising in Sports injuries, Arthroscopic Knee Surgery and treatment of lower back painRead more
Mr Tanweer Ashraf
Mr Tanweer Ashraf is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, specialising in Knee Surgery in the West MidlandsRead more
Mr Rajeev Bansal
Mr R Bansal is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon in Halesowen, West Midlands who specialises in shoulder and elbow surgery.Read more
Mr Muhammad Sohail Butt
Mr Sohail Butt is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon in Stourbridge and the West MidlandsRead more
Mr Fouad Chaudhry
Mr Fouad Chaudhry is a Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon in the West MidlandsRead more
Mr T D Clare
Professor Edward Davis
Professor Davis is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon in Stourbridge and the West MidlandsRead more
Mr Edward Laugharne
Mr Edward Laugharne is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon in Halesowen, West Midlands who specialises in hip and knee replacement surgery)Read more
Mr Sabur Malek
Mr Sabur Malek is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon in the West Midlands who specialise in Hip and Knee SurgeryRead more
Mr Alastair John Niall Marsh
Mr Alastair John Niall Marsh is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon in West Midlands, Stourbridge and Birmingham.Read more
Mr Qutub Qadri
Mr Sohail Quraishi
Mr Sohail Quraishi is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at West Midlands Hospital who specialises in hip and knee replacements.Read more
Mr Maneesh Sinha
Mr Maneesh Sinha is an Orthopaedic Consultant at West Midlands HospitalRead more
Mr Manoj Veettil
Mr Manoj M Veettil is a Trauma & Orthopaedics Consultant in Halesowen and Stourbridge who specialises Lower Limb Arthroplasty.Read more
Mr Matthew Waites
Mr Matthew Waites is a consultant Orthopaedic surgeon in Halesowen, West Midlands hospitalRead more
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Abby Marsh, Administrative Assistant at West Midlands Hospital recently completed her MSc in Public Health and Health Promotion with Merit at Swansea University.