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If you have a slipped disc, lumbar microdiscectomy surgery could help treat it. Book an appointment today.
A slipped disc is where the spongy centre of a disc bulges out and puts pressure on a nerve where it leaves your spine. Each disc is made up of a tough fibrous outer coat with a soft spongy centre. Eventually the spongy centre can bulge out and press on a nerve, or some of the spongy centre can squeeze out of the fibrous coat and press directly on a nerve. This is called a slipped disc and it can cause severe pain, as well as weakness and numbness in the area that the compressed nerve supplies.
The aim is to relieve the pressure on the nerve so it can recover. Your symptoms should improve, and this should help you get back to your normal activities.
For many people, symptoms get better without surgery. Treatment involves painkillers and rest, followed by an exercise programme. If you have a lot of pain, you can also have a steroid injection near the affected nerve into the epidural space (an area near your spine).
Various anaesthetic techniques are possible. The operation usually takes 45 minutes to an hour. Your surgeon will make a cut on the centre of your back between the vertebrae. They will use an operating microscope to make a hole in the ligament between the vertebrae to show the nerve and the disc. Your surgeon will hold the nerve out of the way and remove the part of the disc that is causing the problem. In some cases the whole disc will be removed.
Like all surgical procedures, there are some complications that can be serious and can even cause death. Please bear in mind the general and specific complications regarding this type of operation.
You should be able to go home the same day or the day after. Keep your wound dry for 10 days. Do not lift anything heavy or twist your body. Make sure you keep a good posture when sitting and walking. With regular exercise, you should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.
A slipped disc is where the spongy centre of a disc bulges out and puts pressure on a nerve where it leaves your spine. The aim is to relieve the pressure on the nerve so it can recover. To find out more, call us on 0808 101 0337.
Authors: Mr Stephen Milner DM FRCS (Tr. & Orth.), Mr Richard Ashpole FRCS (Neuro. Surg.)
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