Lumbar Discectomy in Cincinnati
Lumbar discectomy is a surgical procedure performed to remove a portion of an herniated disc in the spine. When more conservative treatments are not effective, a lumbar discectomy can restore physical ability and alleviate pain. At Beacon Orthopaedics, our spine specialists are able to perform a lumbar discectomy through a small incision, allowing our patients to get back to their normal activities as quickly as possible.
What is a Herniated Disc?
The spine is made up of small bones, called vertebrae, and intervertebral discs (shock absorbers) that reside between the vertebrae. These discs have a tough, flexible coating and a soft, jelly-like center, and they help to absorb shock between the vertebrae. In an herniated disc, the jelly-like nucleus of the disc pushes against the outer ring, causing pressure that leads to leg pain. The nucleus may sometimes push all the way through the outer ring of the disc or cause the disc to bulge, increasing the pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots nearby. Chemicals released by the disc nucleus can also cause inflammation and nerve root irritation, leading to leg weakness, pain, numbness, and other symptoms of sciatica.1
Reasons for Lumbar Discectomy
At Beacon Orthopaedics, our goal is to provide the most conservative treatment possible to help our patients achieve relief. In the case of an herniated disc, many patients are able to alleviate pain and resume normal activities after a period of rest and/or physical therapy. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) and epidural spine injections may also be helpful.
When conservative treatments fail to provide relief, our doctors may recommend a lumbar discectomy, especially if the patient is experiencing:
- Difficulty walking
- Difficulty standing
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Uncontrolled pain2
The Lumbar Discectomy Procedure
In most cases, a lumbar discectomy can be performed through a small incision, made at the level of the herniated disc. Through this incision, the surgeon removes the herniated portion of the disc and any fragments that may be contributing to pressure on the spinal cord and/or nerve.
Recovery After Lumbar Discectomy
Following a lumbar discectomy, patients should experience minimal pain. Our lumbar discectomy patients are encouraged to refrain from heavy lifting and strenuous physical activity for two to twelve weeks following the procedure.
Lumbar Discectomy Results
By alleviating the pressure applied by an herniated disc, most lumbar discectomy patients experience a near-immediate reduction in pain and symptoms. Additional physical therapy and rehabilitation may be recommended in some cases to help strengthen the back and legs.
Contact Beacon Orthopaedics in Cincinnati
If you are struggling with discomfort due to an herniated disc, the spine specialists at Beacon Orthopaedics can help. Through a range of treatment options including lumbar discectomy, we can help alleviate your pain and get you back to enjoying your favorite activities. For more information, please contact us for a consultation.
1 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Herniated Disk in the Lower Back. Available: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/herniated-disk-in-the-lower-back/. Accessed July 13, 2021.
2 Mayo Clinic. Diskectomy. Available: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/diskectomy/about/pac-20393837. Accessed July 13, 2021.