Injuries or other conditions that affect the spine are more troublesome when compared to conditions that affect other locations. Besides this, the treatment of such spinal issues is also not easy. If we talk about recent times, the orthopedic surgeries along with the ones used to fix spinal issues have improved a lot. Not only this but Orthopaedic Implants and Instruments that are used during the surgery have also become better.

Conventional surgeries are mostly performed for the treatment as they are highly effective but, there are certain drawbacks as well. For example, incisions made are big and recovery requires time in conventional methods. But with the introduction of minimally invasive procedures, things have changed a lot.

In this post, we will talk about one such minimally invasive technique that is used for the treatment of spinal issues, especially herniated disc. The surgical technique that we are talking about is known as microdiscectomy. Let us see what it is.


What is Microdiscectomy?

Microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive spine surgery that is recommended to relieve compression from the nerves in the spine. This is why the procedure is also known as micro-decompression. Nerve decompression is required to relieve pressure from the nerves and improve painful symptoms like back and leg pain.

Earlier, discectomy used to be performed as a conventional surgery where a large incision was made to access the spine in order to remove the herniated disc. Conventional discectomy is still performed these days but, relatively less in numbers when compared to decades ago.


In Which Cases, Microdiscectomy is Recommended?

There are two main conditions for which microdiscectomy may be recommended, and they include:


  • When a fragment of the intervertebral disc presses onto a spinal nerve or the spinal cord.
  • The condition where a bulging disc that is intact in its place presses a spinal nerve or the spinal cord.


How Microdiscectomy is Performed?

Being a minimally invasive procedure, the surgeon makes a small incision of around 1-1.5 inches directly over the affected intervertebral disc. To see the affected site, the surgeon may use a lighted microscope. In certain cases, a small portion of the bone may also require to be removed that protects the root nerve. After this, the herniated tissue is cut using a special scissor-like tool, and this will relieve the pressure on the nerve.

Once the procedure is complete, the surgeon will close the surgical incision with sutures. Microdiscectomy can be performed in three different ways that include:

  • Mini-open
  • Tubular
  • Endoscopic


When compared to conventional methods, microdiscectomy is known to show better and faster recovery. It is seen that people who have received microdiscectomy experience good relief from the pain and quick recovery to their normal lives.


What Are the Risks Associated with Microdiscectomy?

Infection and blood loss are a few of the common risks that are seen in the case of most surgeries. While with microdiscectomy, there are certain other associated risks as well:

  • Pain that comes back
  • Re-herniation
  • Some of the parts of the disc may remain in the spine after the surgery
  • Injury to spinal cords, blood vessels, or nerves may be experienced

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