Lumbar discectomy is a common surgical procedure used to ruptured or herniated spinal discs. Disks work as padding for the spinal vertebrae. Remove pain due to the compression nerve from herniated disc is relieved using this procedure.
Since herniated disks can cause intense compression on different nerve endings, this procedure is helpful for pain management in the legs or arms, involves small incisions, mainly prescribed for arm or leg pain relief.
Alternate Name of Lumbar Discectomy
Lower back or lower part of the spinal canal.
Lumbar Discectomy Procedure Type
Preparation for Lumbar Discectomy Surgery
Proper preparation is necessary before going for the surgical procedure.
- Asking the right questions: You should ask necessary queries about the procedure like the reasons, expectant results, benefits, risks, potential complications, necessary qualifications for the procedure, alternative tests, and cost. Also, ask what if you do not proceed with the lumbar discectomy surgery.
- Necessary tests: The doctor in charge would handle a complete physical assessment and prescribe other diagnostic tests like MRIs.
- Medication adjustments: If the patient is on any prior medications, the doctor would check and adjust the dosage. They also provide additional instructions.
- Food and drink consumption: Before the surgery, go to the hospital and get admitted in the morning. Avoid drinking or eating anything from at least the night before the scheduled surgery.
How Lumbar Discectomy Surgery Performed?
The process takes around an hour to complete. First, the expert surgeon gives anaesthesia to the patient, and the anesthesiologist and other doctors check the vital signs like blood pressure and heart rate.
The surgeon makes a small cut on the back near the ruptured disc using a specialised x-ray. Through the intervertebral area, the lead surgeon puts a wire and enters a larger tube through the wire. Additionally, the doctor may decide to insert a third tube.
These steps push the tissues at the vertebra down. Then, the surgeon takes out all of the tubes except the biggest one, cuts out the herniated discs and makes other necessary repairs. Then, all tubes are taken out and the wound is bandaged up.
Follow Up After Lumbar Discectomy Surgery
After this outpatient process, patients can return home after some hours. Have an excellent familial support system to help with the travel. Follow the after-care instructions like avoiding heavy lifting or any sudden movements. The doctors would apply a lumbar corset brace for support and pain relief. This is necessary for some time only after the surgery, like around a week. After that, physiotherapy classes are necessary.
If you see any excess fluid draining from the incision area, contact the doctor. A little bit of draining, however, is expected. Also, inform your doctor in case of pain at the incision site or fever.
Risks Factors of Lumbar Discectomy Surgery
Lumbar discectomy does not have significant side effects, but the typical success rate is 85-90%. Potential risks or complications include:
- Recurrent Herniation- Another disc fragment can herniate and give similar problems to the patient after this surgery, mostly later in the future. There is a 10-15% risk of recurrent disk herniation.
- Infection- The surgical incision area can get infected and bleed.
- Neurological Issues- Some patients notice weakness in their neurological function due to a wrong recovery process or long-term symptoms.
- Spinal Fluid Leakage- Injury in the nerves or blood vessels around the spinal cord can also cause spinal fluid leakage.
Recovery After Lumbar Discectomy Surgery
After the procedure, most patients notice an instant improvement in their pain. For some patients, the recovery process is slower. The area where the surgeon cut can be slightly painful, but it is easy to reduce it with oral pain tablets. One must spend an overnight stay at the hospital for observation and then get a second-day discharge.
You can do regular activities like light walking or sitting up. But, avoid heavy-duty work like lifting heavy items, strenuous exercises, or activities that require too much bending.
Contact our doctors today for the best care before, during, and after your lumbar discectomy procedure!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Will I need to wear a brace while sleeping after a lumbar discectomy?
Wearing a brace while sleeping after a lumbar discectomy is typically not necessary. Your surgeon will provide instructions on proper sleeping positions and any precautions you should take during the initial recovery period.
2. Are there any dietary restrictions after a lumbar discectomy?
Generally, there are no specific dietary restrictions after a lumbar discectomy. However, maintaining a healthy diet and staying adequately hydrated can support overall healing and recovery.
3. Can a lumbar discectomy be performed on older adults?
Yes, lumbar discectomy can be performed on older adults. However, age-related factors and overall health will be taken into consideration when assessing the risks and benefits of the surgery for each individual.
4. Will I need physical therapy after a lumbar discectomy?
Physical therapy is often recommended after a lumbar discectomy to help improve strength, flexibility, and mobility. Your surgeon or physical therapist will provide guidance on the appropriate exercises and duration of therapy.
5. How much does lumbar discectomy cost in Delhi?
The cost of a lumbar discectomy in Delhi can vary depending on several factors, such as the hospital, surgeon's fees, type of procedure, duration of hospital stay, and any additional medical services required. It is best to consult with specific hospitals in Delhi to get an accurate estimate of the cost.
6. How long do the benefits of a lumbar discectomy last?
The benefits of a lumbar discectomy can be long-lasting. However, the outcome depends on individual factors such as overall health, the extent of the disc damage, and adherence to post-operative care and rehabilitation.
7. Are there any non-surgical alternatives to lumbar discectomy?
The non-surgical alternatives include physical therapy, medication, epidural injections, and chiropractic care. These methods may help manage symptoms, but if conservative treatments fail to provide relief, surgery may be recommended.
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