Treatment of Back Pain

Lumbar Discectomy Treatment for Lumbar Back Pain

Not all types of back pains are a result of over-worked and exhausted back muscles. On some occasions, the real cause has manifested itself deep into the nervous system surrounding the lumbar spine. The sciatic nerve, located in the lumbar region of the spine gets affected by it and then the pain spreads to the lower portion of the body. Lumbar discectomy is the only solution of this problem.

Lumbar Spine- The Region Most Affected

Lumbar spine is the third region from the top of the spine. This part comprises of 5 vertebrate bones. Each vertebrate is separated by intervertebral disc which cushion the vertebrate. Placed inside the spinal column is the spinal canal in which rests the cauda equina and the spinal chord.

Back pain emanating from damaged and/or pressured nerves in the lumbar region of the spine is excruciating and quickly travels down the lower part of the spinal chord. While on occasions, the pressure is released off the nerves spontaneously on other occasions (when the cause of pain is a herniated disc or other reasons) surgery seems to be the only solution to this problem.

Lumbar Discectomy- The Surgery

This surgery is a minimally invasive surgery. This means that it is not required to open a large section of the affected area in order to reach to the root cause and treat it. The five vertebrae bones which make up the lumbar region of the spine make the operating area a very small one.

For the purpose of surgery the patient is usually put under general anaesthesia. However, the use of local anaesthesia is becoming increasingly popular (as a part of their 'life experiences' patients want to 'see' the surgery being performed upon them). Patients are laid on the operation table in a face-down position, which makes the lower back region to surgeons for the purpose of surgery.

The lower back region (lumbar region) is then sterilised using soaps and medications. Surgeons make incisions only a couple of inches long to reveal the spinal column. The nerves surrounding the spinal column are gently pulled aside with the help of a retractor. A special device called fluoroscope is used to clear around the affected area so that the nerve under pressure could be reached.

A miniature camera (called endoscope) is used to reach the affected nerve. The cause of damage or pressure to this nerve is determined and then fixed. The wound is then cleaned and stitched up with buried stitches or adhesive tapes. The patient is, then, woken up from the influence of the anaesthetic.

Time Taken For Recovery

The patient is able to sit in about a few hours after the surgery is performed. However, the underlying trouble of back pain takes about a year for full recovery.