Percutaneous Lumbar Discectomy
What is percutaneous lumbar discectomy?
Percutaneous Discectomy is a minimally invasive procedure performed under live x-ray guidance with the goal of removing a small amount of nuclear disc material from your herniated disc.
How can we diagnose percutaneous lumbar discectomy disease?
To determine who is a good candidate for percutaneous lambar discectomy, the surgeon may require a few tests. These may include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), discography, computed tomography (CT or CAT scan), and x-rays. These tests will also help the surgeon determine the source of the pain.
What are the causes that lead to percutaneous lumbar discectomy?
- Family background
- Poor physical fitness
- Occupational job hazards
- Smoking cigarettes
How is percutaneous lumbar discectomy procedure done?
Percutaneous techniques- non-surgical techniques using probes that are directed through the skin and muscle, down to the problem area in the spine using x-ray guidance. The procedure is performed under brief local anesthesia with the patient awake and in lateral position. A small needle is inserted into the disc.
The procedure is performed under brief local anesthesia with the patient awake and in a lateral position. A small needle is inserted into the disc.
Over this probe, a slightly larger sleeve is inserted to permit a 2mm incision to be made in the disk itself. Using x-ray fluoroscopy control, the micro-instruments (forceps, currets, cutters), the discectome (which is a hollow probe with a cutting knife inside), and the laser probe are inserted into the disk space through a sleeve. Very small pieces of the disk material are removed and suctioned. The laser shrinks the disk bulge further. The procedure takes about 20 minutes, on average. X-ray exposure is minimal.
The amount of disk removed varies. The supporting structure of the disk is not affected. Upon completion, the needle is removed and a small Band-Aid is applied over the probe incision.
What are the risk factors associated with percutaneous lumbar discectomy?
- Nerve root damage
- Bowel/bladder incontinence
- Chance for Dural tear (cerebrospinal fluid leak)
What is the aftercare procedure for a patient undergone percutaneous lumbar discectomy?
Your surgeon will have a specific post-operative recovery plan to help you return to your normal activity level as soon as possible. Your length of stay in the hospital will depend on your treatment and physical condition. You typically will be up and walking by the end of the first day after the surgery. Your return to work will depend on how well your body is healing and the type of work/activity level you plan to return to.
Work closely with your spinal surgeon to determine the appropriate recovery protocol for you, and follow his or her instructions exactly to optimize your healing process.