A lumbar microdiscectomy is a common back operation performed to relieve pressure on a nerve caused by a disc prolapse.
Nerve compression can cause leg pain (sciatica), numbness and/or weakness.
You may need lumbar disc surgery if your symptoms have not resolved with time and pain relief. Persistent symptoms may interfere with your work, sport or other activities.
If you are demonstrating symptoms of a trapped nerve in your back, then it is likely that you will be recommended to undergo an MRI scan of your lumbar spine.
If your MRI demonstrates a lumbar disc prolapse (slipped disc) with nerve compression then you have three main options:
Which treatment is right for you will depend on the severity and duration of your symptoms, how quickly you want to return to full physical activity and also your understanding of the risks of any procedure.
You will have plenty of opportunity to ask questions about the technique of surgery, any potential complications as well as your expected rate of recovery following surgery.
After a lumbar microdiscectomy, patient satisfaction rates are 85-90% and we expect 90% of patients to experience good or excellent relief from leg pain. (Spine Tango data)
As with all surgery there is always some risk of complication. These will be discussed prior to going ahead with any procedure. For this type of surgery, risks include:
Data from Spine Tango.