Types of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
The spine is made up of individual bones called vertebrae, which are separated by rubbery cushions called discs. Vertebrae are stacked atop one another from the pelvis to the base of the skull, linked together via facet joints which give them the flexibility to move against each other. An arch of bone called the lamina connects the facet joints and other bony parts of the vertebra to the vertebral body. The discs act as shock absorbers to minimize the impact of movement.
This procedure is done through minimally invasive techniques which means the incision is very small and the muscles, arteries and nerves around the spine are left intact. During the procedure, a small portion of bone is removed from the lamina to allow access to the disc space. All disc material or bone spurs are cleared away from the impinged nerve root, allowing it space to heal.
Microdiscectomy is used to treat a herniated disc which was not sufficiently treated by non-operative methods such as physical therapy, exercise programs, chiropractic and acupuncture treatments, injections and pain medications.
Recovery time varies from patient to patient. Since this procedure is minimally invasive, patients usually go home the same day (outpatient) and start physical therapy 3-4 weeks after surgery. Many patients return to work within 6- 8 weeks after this surgery.