A Minimally Invasive Discectomy is a procedure designed to relieve pain as a result of a herniated disc in the cervical or lumbar spine. When an intervertebral disc becomes herniated the gelatinous disc nucleus material (nucleus pulpous) is forced out from the disc. This herniated disc material then enters the spinal canal where it begins to press against the spinal cord or spinal nerves. This often causes pain both in the area of the herniation as well as pain in the neck or back as into extremities. Removing the disc and any bone spurs will alleviate the pressure on the nerves or spinal cord, which relieves the pain.
The Minimally Invasive Discectomy procedure is often referred to by many different names:
• Percutaneous Discectomy
• Endoscopic Discectomy
• Microscopic Discectomy
It is best to discuss with your surgeon which of these procedures may be right for you.
Minimally Invasive Approach
All of the above procedures are carried out utilizing a Minimally Invasive technique. In this procedure, a small incision is made in the area of the offending disc(s). Using a muscle-sparing technique, small surgical instruments and a surgical camera are slipped between the muscle fibers and into the spinal space. Using fluoroscopic guidance, the surgeon will then identify the herniation(s). Specialized instruments are used to remove the only the herniated portions of the disc or any bone spurs that may have formed and the surgeon is able to visualize the spine real-time using a fluoroscope. This removal of disc material allows for the spinal nerves to be decompressed and results in the relief of cervical or lumbar pain as well as the radicular pain associated with the herniation.