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Lumbar microdiscectomy: A complete video guide

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

By: Molly Soto

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Most of us will have low back pain at some point in our life. About 85 percent of us will miss some activities or work because of low back pain.  Most of the time this pain isn’t serious and goes away with time or minimal treatment. 


However, low back pain can develop into a herniated disc, which then can develop into a condition called lumbar radiculopathy.


“The radiculopathy part is the clinical term we use for that nerve being sick, in this case sick from compression,” says Dr. Richard Harrison of BayCare Clinic Neurological Surgeons in Green Bay.


“Most of the time when that occurs we do relatively conservative measures to treat it,” Harrison says. “When patients have failed conservative treatment, then we would think about surgery.”


A lumbar microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive procedure that is almost always done on an outpatient basis. It takes about an hour. The patient usually goes home the same day.


“The lumbar microdiscectomy is a very common procedure and is performed very safely every day,” Harrison says.


In this video, Harrison discusses treatment options, when surgery is needed, details about the procedure, possible complications and what recovery is like.



Why does somebody get lumbar radiculopathy or a herniated disc?


“A lot of times we don’t know, it’s just something that happens,” Harrison says.


It can occur from everyday movements like rolling over in bed or sneezing. It also can occur for more obvious reasons, like falling or vehicle accidents.


Risks can play a part in the probability of this injury occurring.


“We know that cartilage is different in some people and we know that this is related to genetics,” Harrison says. “Some people’s family have weaker cartilage than others and they tend to have disc herniation and disc degeneration.”


If you have a herniated disc and would like to discuss your options, ask for a referral to BayCare Clinic Neurological Surgeons then contact them at 888-376-3876 or 920-288-8350.

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