This procedure is one of the most common minimally invasive spine surgery procedures and is done on patients who suffer from the following conditions: degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, sciatica, spinal stenosis, scoliosis or spinal deformities, spondylolisthesis, spinal fractures, spinal infections and spinal tumors.
This approach uses a much less significant incision than traditional open spinal surgeries and helps avoids damage to the low back muscles. Minimally Invasive Disectomy removes a portion of the herniated disc that is compressing spinal nerves and can alleviate the leg pain and numbness/weakness many patients refer to.
Minimally Invasive Disectomy is often done through a short incision, approximately 2.5 cm. (1 in.), into the side of the middle of the lower back. Next, a thin needle is inserted to the level of the spine and special dilators are guided down the needle and give access to the underlying spine without cutting through the muscles. After the initial dilator is inserted, larger dilators are gradually added to make room for the procedure. Next, a retractor is placed over the dilators, and with the use of an endoscope, provide an up-close view to help the doctor guide the procedure. An instrument called a grasping instrument is used to remove the herniated segment of the disc. Removing the herniation is what alleviates pressure on the nerve root.
Patients report quick relief of leg pain; however numbness may occasionally continue for several weeks. It is our recommendation that patients avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise for at least 6 weeks following the procedure.