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Lumbar Microdiscectomy Indications in Portland, Oregon

What is a Lumbar Microdiscectomy?

A lumbar microdiscectomy is a small surgery performed using a microscope to remove a piece of a herniated disc that is pushing on a nerve root and causing hip or leg pain. Only the herniated piece of disc is removed and the remainder of the disc is preserved.

What Are the Indications for Performing a Lumbar Microdiscectomy?

There are some extreme circumstances, such as loss of bowel and bladder function, when immediate surgery is necessary. However, most disc ruptures resolve gradually without surgical intervention. The most common reason to have surgery is to alleviate pain which has not resolved within several months. Many people would like to be more active than their pain allows and this usually persuades them to have surgery.

If your pain is mild or moderately tolerable we do not recommend you proceed with surgery. We also feel that numbness, tingling, or the loss of a reflex is not sufficient to indicate surgery is absolutely necessary.

Muscle weakness, especially if worsening, is a good reason to consider operative intervention.

Microdiscectomy is quite effective in relieving pain in the buttocks area or pain that travels down the leg; however, it is less effective in relieving back pain.

What are the Details of Lumbar Microdiscectomy?

After general anesthesia is obtained patients are carefully placed on a frame and secured in the prone position. X-ray imaging is used to localize the proper level for surgery and an approximately one inch incision is made over the disc. The muscles on one side of the spine are pushed to the side and a microscope is brought in to help remove soft tissue above the nerve. The nerve and disc are identified and then the herniated portion of the disc is removed.

Dr. Button is experienced in lumbar microdiscectomy and if you would like to schedule an appointment to discuss this or other procedures further, click here.

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