Treatment of Back Pain

Micro-Discectomy-Surgery for Relieving Pressure on Spinal Nerves

On numerous occasions, the back pain afflicting a person is not a result of muscle pull or strained muscles but a result of strain on spinal nervous system. On most occasions, the disorder which results in back pain is nothing but an increased pressure on the nerves coming out of the spinal chord. This problem is not life threatening and can be corrected by a surgery called Micro-discectomy.

Spinal Nerve Compression

Spinal nerve compression is a result of the narrowing of the spinal canal, which houses the spinal chord and spinal nerves emanating out of it. The main ailment which results in spinal compression is lumbar disc herniation. In this condition, the lumbar vertebrae bones become herniated (bulge out) which then reduces the intervertebral gap between two vertebrae. This results in narrowing of spinal canal exits which are housed in this gap.

Symptoms of Lumbar Disc Herniation

The pain resulting from compression (pinching) of the spinal nerves begins right in the middle of the back. Slowly but steadily it starts to travel outwards. In case of lumbar pain (which is localized in the lower back) the pain gradually spreads down the legs. A CT scan or MRI can be used to confirm the presence of compression on spinal nerves.

Micro-Discectomy Surgery- How Is It Done?

Micro-Discectomy surgery is a minimally invasive surgical procedure. It is performed either under the influence of general or local anesthesia. A spinal surgeon first sterilizes the area directly above the affected region and then makes small incisions (about an inch long) in the skin to reveal underlying muscles. These are then pulled aside (through a retractor) or cut down to reach the spinal canal.

As pointed out, micro-discectomy surgery is usually performed if a person is afflicted with lumbar disc herniation. When such is the case, the spinal surgeon sets out on removing the hernia (bulge) from the spinal column.

The disc material to be removed is located beneath the spinal nerves. Hence, first the spinal nerves are located and then gently pulled aside to reveal the disc material underneath. Subsequently, this material is removed and decompression of the nerve attained.
Once the objective is achieved, all the nerves and muscles are then slided back in to their original position. The wound is then stitched up using either embedded stitches or sterilized bandages.

Healing Period in Micro-Discectomy Surgery

The typical healing period in micro-discectomy surgery is about a few days. But that is just the surgery wounds and the terrible pain experienced in the lower back and legs. Proper functioning of the spinal nerves may take about a year to attain.

When to Have Micro-Discectomy?

Micro-Discectomy surgery is to be recommended by a medical spine specialist only if a person has not seen any benefit from conventional medications and/or if the pain persists for too long.