Degenerative disc disease is endemic in our society. Genetic and environmental factors as well as today’s lifestyle have a decisive influence on the premature aging process of the disc.
Once the degeneration process has set up, it occasionally evolves to a last stage consisting in the degradation and rupture of the disc, with the leaking-out of its content into the spinal canal. The extruded fragments of the disc press on the adjacent nerve roots to a greater or a lesser extent, thus triggering the typical episode of lumbosciatalgia.
If the conservative therapy with anti-inflammatory medication, bed rest, physical therapy or epidural injections fails, surgery becomes the only alternative. When the rest of the joints in the vertebral segment are involved, the patient presents an inflammation of the vertebral plates or there is displacement of a vertebral body over the vertebra below (listhesis), lumbar microdiscectomy normally is the best option.
Through a mini-incision of about 2 cm and with the aid of special retractors and fluoroscopy, the surgeon can access the intervertebral disc in order to remove the herniated fragment.
Patients can start walking the next day after this minimally invasive procedure. Forty-eight hours after surgery they can be discharged. Patients will have to wait between six to eight weeks to reach full recovery allowing them to carry out high-stress activities including sports.
Operating room Vision