A lumbar discectomy is the removal of a lumbar disc or discs and then the fusion of two or more vertebras to provide stabilization of the spine. A discectomy is recommended for patients who have suffered a serious disc herniation as well as for those suffering from degenerative disc disease. This procedure is not right for all patients, though. In addition, depending on your specific situation, Dr. Chetan Patel may recommend only a partial discectomy or a full discectomy and fusion procedure. To learn more about your options, schedule a consultation with Dr. Chetan Patel at AdventHealth Medical Group Spine Health by calling Call407-303-5452.

Open or Minimally Invasive?

While a discectomy and fusion will provide relief from pain, muscle weakness and other symptoms, not all surgeries are the same. Traditional open procedures are still used, but they come with potential complications not found with minimally invasive surgeries, such as those offered by Dr. Chetan Patel at AdventHealth Medical Group Spine Health. With an open surgery, the patient can expect a longer recovery time due to the invasive nature of the surgery and the amount of trauma caused to underlying tissues, as well as a greater chance of infection and more pain during recovery.

Minimally invasive discectomy and fusion procedures offer greatly reduced recovery times, a lower chance of infection and less pain during recovery.

How Does the Surgery Work?

In a minimally invasive surgery, Dr. Patel will make a small incision to one side of the back. A series of dilators are then inserted to gradually make a tunnel between the muscles and other tissues of the back and gain access to the spine. Once access to the spine has been achieved, the surgeon will then identify the correct vertebra (or vertebras) and begin the process of removing the degenerative or damaged discs from between them. This is usually done via a procedure called a laminotomy, in which the lamina of the vertebra is cut to gain access to the spinal canal and the disc.

Once the discs have been removed, the surgeon will insert bone graft material for the fusion component of the procedure. To hold the grafts in place, the surgeon will install instrumentation (hardware). Usually, this is a series of plates and screws. These can be installed on both the front and back of the vertebras in question, and will connect them all in series. Hardware is responsible for providing stabilization while the bone graft heals and the bone regrows, eventually forming a single bone segment in place of two or more vertebras.

Recovery from Discectomy and Fusion Surgery

The recovery time for this procedure can vary from one patient to the next. Most patients are allowed to return home the same day as the surgery, but some patients may be required to spend up to two days under observation. Dr. Patel will provide specific post-operative instructions on when you can take up your normal activities once more.

For more information about lumbar discectomy and fusion surgery, contact Dr. Chetan Patel at AdventHealth Medical Group Spine Health. Call Call407-303-5452 to set up an appointment for a consultation.