What Is A Minimally Invasive Lumbar Discectomy?
A lumbar discectomy is a surgical procedure that involves relieving the pressure placed on nerve roots and/or the spinal cord by a herniated disc or bone spurs in the lower back – a condition referred to as nerve root compression.
Lumbar refers to the five vertebrae of the lower back. Discs are the spongy, cartilaginous pads between each vertebra, and ectomy means “to take out.” In a lumbar discectomy, the surgeon accesses the lumbar spine through an incision in the back over the vertebral levels to be treated and removes all or part of the disc – and/or in some cases bone material – that’s pressing on the nerves and causing pain. Because it eliminates nerve/nerve root compression, a lumbar discectomy is considered a decompressive spinal procedure.
Depending on your condition and specific surgical goals, your surgeon may choose to perform this procedure using a minimally invasive approach.
Traditional, open spine surgery involves cutting or stripping the muscles from the spine. Minimally invasive spine surgery involves a small incision or incisions and muscle dilation, allowing the surgeon to separate the muscles surrounding the spine rather than cutting them.