What are Common Minimally Invasive Lumbar Disc Herniation Procedures?
The compression and fracture of a disc located between the two vertebrae is a major cause of a herniated disc. The internal gel from the disc escapes into the spinal canal. Therefore, impacting the nerve. One of the most common sites for the herniated disk is in the lower back. The lower back is also called the lumbar spine.
Patients who are diagnosed with a herniated disk have reported experiencing lower back pain. However, sometimes they can also feel pain radiating to the buttocks and legs. Serious cases of a herniated disc can cause the foot to experience numbness or tingling. If you experience these symptoms, consult your doctor to determine the cause. Your doctor should order an MRI test to diagnose your condition and recommend treatment.
Causes of a Herniated Disk in the Lumbar Spine
A common area for herniated discs is in the lumbar spine. Herniated discs are typically caused by injury or natural spinal degeneration. However, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what caused your herniated disc. At times, using your back muscles instead of your leg and thigh muscles to lift large, heavy objects can lead to a herniated disc. As can twisting and turning while lifting. Another common cause for a herniated disk is spinal degeneration. This is normal age-related wear and tear of the spine. As you age, your spinal discs will lose water. In turn, makes them less flexible and more prone to tearing or rupturing.
The lumbar spine is responsible for supporting the body’s weight. And allowing the flexibility and mobility of the body. When bodyweight increases, the vertebrae in the spinal cord has to support more weight. Therefore, these vertebrae are then compressed. The added bodyweight then causes the disc in between each vertebra to flatten and stretch. A typical illustration of how the disc is being compressed between the vertebrae: when you gently press a piece of molding clay between your hands.
Gradually, as the vertebrae continue to compress, the hard outer shell of the disc may crack. This allows the jellylike fluid inside the disc to flow into the spinal canal. If the fluid presses onto the nerve root in the spinal canal, the patient may experience serious chronic pain. Although, if the herniated disk is located in the lower part of the lumbar spine and impacts the sciatic nerve, that is called sciatica.
If you feel herniated disk symptoms in your lumbar spine or sciatic symptoms, contact a spine specialist regarding treatment options. There are many available options to treat mild to severely herniated discs.
Treatment Options for a Lumbar Herniated Disc
Patients who have a mildly herniated disk can receive pain relief through conservative treatment methods. For example, ice and heat and physical therapy. Although therapy is effective for some mild conditions, not everyone finds permanent relief.
Have you tried conservative treatments and did not find long-lasting pain relief? It might be time to consider surgical treatment for the herniated disc.
Lumbar Herniated Disc Minimally Invasive Procedures
For the majority of the patients, back surgery is considered a “last resort.” Although, your surgeon could recommend this option depending on the severity of the condition. Or if the treatments have already been administered show no pain-relief.
There are two types of surgeries for lumbar herniated discs. First, minimally invasive decompression surgery and second, minimally invasive stabilization surgery. This type of procedure performed is determined by the severity of the condition.
Furthermore, mild cases of a lumbar herniated disc will most likely be treated with a discectomy procedure. Discectomy is one of the most common minimally invasive spine decompression operations. So, in this procedure, a portion of the herniated disc will be removed to decompress the nerve in the spinal canal. The operation will be carried out with a small 1-inch incision.
In other cases, you may have to undergo a minimally invasive stabilization operation. This type of procedure (which is also performed by a small incision) involves a less invasive alternative to traditional spine fusion.
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