This minimally invasive laser spine surgery helps shrink and then remove herniated discs in the lumbar, or lower, region of the spine. It is usually recommended by surgeons when the patient is experiencing pain in the leg or lower back. Discs are a type of cushions that are found in the space between your vertebrae – the bones in your spine. Sometimes, these discs crack open due to their soft centers pushing through the outer casing. While a herniated disc does not always lead to pain symptoms, they can start to put pressure on the nerves in your spine. This pressure, usually, what causes most people pain or numbness in their back, leg, or arm.
Lumbar endoscopic discectomy is performed under local anesthesia and makes use of specially designed micro-instruments, a discectomy (a hollow probe containing a knife for cutting) and a laser probe that are inserted into the disc space through a small incision and under x-ray guidance. The patient is laid face down on an operating table, and stays relaxed with the help of the local anesthesia. During the surgery, which takes less than 30 minutes, small pieces of the disc are removed with the discectomy. The laser is used to further shrink the disc, leaving the supporting structure of the disc intact while taking pressure away from the pinched nerve.
As a minimally invasive surgery, this procedure avoids interfering with nerves or muscle tissue that have nothing to do with the pinched area. The surgical area is localized, and leads to a faster recovery time with no postoperative pain, compared to a traditional open back surgery. The incision is covered with a small band-aid, and the patient is usually able to go home the same they the surgery is done. During the recovery period, it is advised to avoid motions such as lifting, bending, or twisting for several weeks after the operation. Because the spine is still healing, there is still a chance for the herniation to happen again, which can bring back the recently relieved back or leg pain. If you’re looking for a minimally invasive spine surgeon in New Jersey to help with your back pain, contact us at the Spine Institute today to set an appointment with one of our medical experts.