If you have a herniated disk, there is a good chance that you might need a lumbar microdiscectomy. A lumbar microdiscectomy is a procedure where a small part of the bone over the nerve root, or the disc material under a nerve root, is taken out. This helps relieve pressure on your spinal cord, and a successful lumbar microdiscectomy can seriously reduce chances of further spinal cord damage and pain.
While a lumbar microdiscectomy can be a very helpful surgery, it is important to understand that every spinal cord issue requires specific, careful diagnosis. In this article, we want to show you three reasons for getting a microdiscectomy, though we like to stress that this is for information purposes only, not for diagnostic purposes.
Without further ado, here are three reasons why doctors tell their patients to get a Lumbar Microdiscectomy:
- Constant Leg Pain
If a patient’s leg pain due to a disc herniation is going to go away, it will generally go away after six to twelve weeks. With that in mind, if leg pain continues to hamper a patient, a lumbar microdiscectomy will often be suggested. If the patient is able to handle their pain, it is always a good idea to initially wait on surgery until it seems absolutely necessary, because though the technology of spinal surgery has vastly improved over the last few decades, it’s better to avoid spinal surgery if you can. There is a delicate balance there, however, as surgery is most effective within 6 months of diagnosing symptoms.
2) Unsuccessful Non-Surgical Treatment
As we said before, it is always important to avoid surgery whenever possible, because there are inherent risks associated with it that aren’t there with some non-surgical treatments. However, sometimes doctors prescribe the wrong treatments, which make the pain worse, or the treatments they prescribe might simply not be effective enough to prevent surgery. Non-surgical treatments like physical therapy and steroids can be effective with less-serious cases, but their effectiveness is easily measured in the physical pain of the patient.
3) Your Herniated Disc Is Affecting Your Everyday Activities
While constant, enduring pain is one reason to get a lumbar microdiscectomy, severe pain is a whole different concept. Doctors may recommend surgery much quicker if they see their patients have trouble performing simple tasks like walking, bending over, or sleeping. On top of that, if a patient works in a job that requires movement, surgery might be advised, as they are at further risk to get hurt again if anything goes wrong with their non-surgical treatment. Herniated discs are very damaging to one’s ability to move, so if the pain affects what you do for a living, it is important to get it figured out sooner rather than later.
Like we previously mentioned, it is of the utmost importance that you seek medical attention if you feel that you might have a herniated disc. The medical issues associated with herniated discs are severe, and surgery is avoidable if you detect it early enough. If you feel pain in your leg that will simply not go away, it is important that you consider all of your options, and do not pursue a treatment path that can make your spinal cord suffer.