Until recently the only surgical treatment for sciatica involved an invasive procedure known as open surgery. This method included opening the flesh of the back, moving aside the muscle, and removing a significant portion of the intervertebral disc with the aim of relieving pressure on the nerves housed in the spinal column through decompression. Recovery from open back surgery was substantial as the muscles and tissues had to heal from the damage done getting to the target vertebrae. Percutaneous disc removal is a minimally invasive option that aids in recovery by limiting the amount of damage done as part of the procedure. This form of minimally invasive procedure can benefit some patients in need of discectomy in the lumbar region of the spine.
What Is Percutaneous Discectomy?
This procedure came into existence in 1960, but limitations due to the technology of the time meant that it didn’t come into common usage until recently. Modern techniques use plasma to clear tissue from the center of an intervertebral disc by inserting an instrument into the disc through a needle. The material is then removed from the nucleus of the disc decompressing it and alleviating pressure caused by compression. This reduction in pressure results in relief of pain without the tissue trauma that is common with open back surgeries. Further, recovery time is much reduced allowing patients to get back to their lives quickly.
What Kind of Patient is A Candidate for This Procedure?
This procedure is appropriate for those patients that are experiencing complications from sciatica, radiculopathy, or symptoms caused by a bulge in the central disc known as a central focal protrusion. Additionally, those who have hernias that are small in size. Those with larger herniated discs where there is a contained hernia, A hernia that hasn’t ruptured the disc, are also candidates if open surgery isn’t considered appropriate.
What Should I Expect from This Surgery?
This minimally invasive discectomy is remarkably simple, requiring only a local anesthetic. For patients anxious about being conscious during the procedure a mild sedative can be applied, but general anesthesia is inappropriate for this method. Once the anesthesia is in effect, a needle will is inserted, beginning the surgery. The procedure is typically over no more than 30 minutes later, and the patient can return home. Recovery is simple with a minimal amount of pain being experienced by the patient. Those with jobs that are physically demanding may need to wait a week or so before returning to their jobs.
This procedure has made treatment of these herniations nearly pain and recovery free, a vast improvement over the open surgery used previously. If you think you may benefit from this procedure contact your pain management doctor in Las Vegas, NV and alert Dr. Yevgeniy Khavkin to your symptoms and schedule an appointment. An exam and consultation will follow during which your physician will determine the proper treatment for your case. Spinal surgery in the lumbar region doesn’t have to leave you incapacitated for an extended recovery period, minimally invasive discectomies make it simple to relieve pain and get back to your daily life.