What is Lumbar Microdiscectomy?
Before we get into Lumbar microdiscectomy, let us understand what a herniated disc is. A herniated disc occurs when the gel filled nucleus escapes from the disc annulus and compresses the spinal nerve. This causes swelling and pain. The condition can be very painful and needs to be treated immediately. Removal of the herniated disc is often the solution and is made possible through microdiscectomy.
This process of removing the degenerative disc is known as Lumbar microdiscectomy. It is advised if physical therapy and medication fail to control the condition. Discectomy is the process of cutting the disc out and can be removed from anywhere between the neck to the lower back (Lumbar).
The surgeon accesses the spinal cord through the Lamina and retracts the spinal nerve to one side. Depending on the severity and case one or more discs may be removed. There are multiple ways to perform the surgery.
While an open surgery involves larger incisions and muscle retraction, it usually needs more recovery time. Surgeries involving smaller incisions are known as microendoscopic discectomy. In this process, the surgeon uses visual tools and micro instruments to remove the disc. Dilators are used to tunnel through the spine and treat the affected area. This process takes lesser recovery time and is usually less painful.
When should one get a microdiscectomy?
One should consider getting the procedure done in one of the following cases:
- If medical diagnosis such as an MRI or CT scan shows one or more herniated discs.
- Noticeable pain or numbness in your spine running down to your feet or legs.
- If one has been undergoing physical therapy or medication but sees no signs of improvement in the pain or uncomfort.
- Pain in the legs is significantly more as compared to the back.
- Loss of feeling in the genital area or poor control over your bladder and bowel movements.
Lumbar microdiscectomy is often prescribed to treat one of the two following conditions:
- Bulging or herniated disc: As discussed earlier, when the gel escapes through the annulus, it puts pressure on the spinal nerve causing pain. In this case, a part of the disc needs to be removed to prevent further damage.
- Degenerative disc disease: Due to wearing out of the discs, the joints inflame and the bones lose form. Eventually the discs dry out and lose its cushioning. This causes disc herniation or stenosis. It can be treated using discectomy.
Cost of getting a Lumbar Microdiscectomy
There is a huge variation in lumbar microdiscectomy cost in different countries. There are different factors that need to be taken into consideration while calculating lumbar microdiscectomy costs such as recovery and rehabilitation time. The cost in developed nations like the USA and UK varies between USD 30,000 to 60,000. In Thailand, Singapore, and India it varies from USD 3000 to 11,500.
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