Relieve Slipped Disc Pain with Minimally Invasive Lumbar Discectomy

If you suffer from pain or unusual numbness in your legs, you may be experiencing a slipped disc in the lumbar (lower) spine. Discs of shock absorbent tissue lay between each vertebrae. When one of these discs becomes herniated, it can place pressure on surrounding nerves. While symptoms often respond to nonsurgical treatments, more severe cases may require surgery. Dr. Aron Rovner performs minimally invasive lumbar discectomy at his New York City, NY,practice to relieve pressure on the nerves and restore comfort. Using sophisticated techniques, he can perform this surgery using only a small incision, resulting in a faster recovery. For information on the procedure and how it can benefit you, contact us today.

What is a Lumbar Discectomy?

During a lumbar discectomy, bulging disc tissue is removed from the lower spine to relive pressure on surrounding nerves. The structure of these discs is often compared to a jelly doughnut because it consists of a tough outer layer and a soft core. When the outer layer weakens or becomes injured, problems can develop. If it tears, the gelatinous inner core can push outward. Often, the inner disc can spread out far enough to compress or damage nerve tissue running through the spinal column.

Because nerves in the lumbar region reach down to the legs and lower extremities, nerve compression in this part of the spine can lead to:

  • Pain or numbness, typically on one side of the body
  • Pain that worsens at night, extends to your legs, and intensifies after standing or sitting
  • Unexplained muscle weakness
  • Tingling or burning in affected areas

In some cases, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, epidural injections, and extensive rest can alleviate symptoms. If pain does not respond to these solutions, an x-ray, MRI, or CT scan can help Dr. Rovner determine if surgery is necessary.

The Procedure

Minimally invasive lumbar discectomy is often an outpatient procedure. Before the procedure, patients receive general anesthesia, and are placed in either a kneeling or facedown position to allow Dr. Rovner better access to the spine. He can then make a small incision in the skin over the spine. The spine is surrounded by muscle tissue that Dr. Rovner can gently dilate with a small tube. Next, a special microscope is inserted through the tube to view the affected area. This approach results in far less trauma at the treatment site than a traditional open surgery. Next, Dr. Rovner can remove the protruding portion of the disc and any fragments that may have been expelled. Because the slipped part of the disc requires no replacement, he can then close the incision with sutures.

Recovery

While Dr. Rovner may advise two to eight weeks of rest, patients can often resume normal, non-strenuous activity almost immediately. Patients should avoid sitting for longer than 15 or 20 minutes at a time, however, and walk regularly to prevent scar tissue from forming at the surgical site. It is also highly recommended that you begin an exercise program of stretching, strengthening, and aerobic conditioning to aid your lumbar discectomy recovery and prevent recurring back pain or herniation.

Contact Us Today

Dr. Rovner is an award-winning orthopedic surgeon with extensive experience in treating lower back pain and other conditions. If you are experiencing symptoms of a slipped disc, contact us today to learn more about your treatment options.