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Microdiscectomy: What You Need To Know

Microdiscectomy: What You Need To Know

Herniated discs are some of the most common back injuries in the United States. Anyone can get a herniated disc, and symptoms often include back pain, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness.

Spinal discs are soft cushions between the vertebrae in your back. They protect your bones as you move, but they are fragile. Injury or age-related degeneration can make the disc crack, putting pressure on your spinal cord.

When a spinal disc in your lower back ruptures, it’s called a lumbar herniated disc. Lower back pain and other symptoms can limit your life, but the good news is that herniated discs are treatable.

George Kakoulides, MD specializes in non-surgical and surgical care for lumbar herniated discs. Many people find that conservative treatments are enough to relieve their pain, but when these aren’t enough, it’s time to learn more about microdiscectomy.

What microdiscectomy treats

Microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive procedure for lumbar herniated discs. The goal of the procedure is to remove damaged parts of the herniated disc and relieve pressure from your spinal cord.

It’s a safe, effective procedure. In fact, about 84% of people who get microdiscectomy for lumbar herniated discs report long-term success with the treatment.

A herniated disc is painful because it presses against the nerves in your spinal cord. This compression can cause symptoms like pain, numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, and more, but decompressing the nerves can make you more comfortable.

Discectomy is also known as decompression, and it’s a common surgery to treat herniated discs. Traditional discectomy required larger incisions along your spine, but microdiscectomy is the minimally invasive version of the procedure.

How microdiscectomy works

In microdiscectomy, Dr. Kakoulides makes a small incision on your back. He inserts a small camera or microscope through the incision and images of your spine are projected onto a screen in the operating room.

He uses small, specialized tools to access your herniated disc. Then, he carefully removes damaged portions of the disc. Removing damaged tissue creates more space around your spinal cord, so your symptoms should stop.

Microdiscectomy is minimally invasive surgery. You’ll be under general anesthesia during the procedure, and you may be able to go home the same day or the next morning.

Is it time to consider herniated disc surgery?

Dr. Kakoulides offers comprehensive care for herniated discs. He starts with a physical evaluation, and you can expect conservative treatment recommendations first.

Many of our patients find that their herniated disc heals in four to six weeks. We may recommend treatment with pain medication, epidural steroid injections, physical therapy, or a combination. If your pain isn’t relieved with these conservative options, it might be time to consider surgery.

The best candidates for microdiscectomy are people who are generally healthy, but who have:

Microdiscectomy effectively takes the pressure off nerves in your spinal cord to relieve pain and other symptoms related to lumbar herniated discs.

You don’t have to live with the discomfort of a lumbar herniated disc - and you don’t have to undergo invasive open surgery to get relief. Schedule a microdiscectomy consultation with Dr. Kakoulides at 631-358-2589 or request an appointment online.

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