Advanced Spine Center
Stephen P. Courtney, MD
Orthopedic Spine Surgeon located in Plano, TX
To get help with chronic or severe lower back pain, numbness, and tingling, visit Advanced Spine Center in Plano, Texas. With more than 20 years of experience, orthopedic spine surgeon Stephen Courtney, MD, provides lumbar microdiscectomies to relieve pain and discomfort associated with herniated discs. As a leader in the field and a surgical trainer, Dr. Courtney has the expertise and skill to help you heal. Set up a consultation today to learn about your options by calling Advanced Spine Center or scheduling online.
Lumbar Microdiscectomy Q & A
What is a lumbar microdiscectomy?
A lumbar microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive surgery used to remove a portion of a herniated disc in your lower back. When a herniated disc compresses or irritates a nerve root, it can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in your back and leg. In some cases, symptoms can be felt on both sides of the body.
When is a lumbar microdiscectomy recommended?
A microdiscectomy is performed on herniated discs that are causing any of the following symptoms:
- Lower back pain
- Numbness and tingling in the leg or foot
- Muscle weakness in the leg or foot
- Sharp, shooting pain in the buttock, thigh, or leg
Dr. Courtney will recommend a microdiscectomy if you have tried other conservative and minimally invasive treatments, including physical therapy, lifestyle modifications, and lumbar injections, without success.
How is a lumbar microdiscectomy performed?
A microdiscectomy is an outpatient procedure that takes 1-2 hours. Dr. Courtney uses general anesthesia during the procedure, so you are asleep and experience no discomfort.
Once you are comfortable and the anesthesia has taken effect, Dr. Courtney makes a small incision about 1-1½ inches in length in your back. He places a thin guide wire through this incision to reach the surgical site.
Using fluoroscopy to guide the treatment, Dr. Courtney precisely inserts a thin tube called a dilator to carefully push surrounding muscles out of the way without cutting them.
Once the dilator is in place, Dr. Courtney removes the guide wire and inserts small surgical tools through the dilator to do the surgery. He carefully removes the portion of the herniated disc that is irritating the nerve before removing the surgical instruments and applying a bandage to your back.
Dr. Courtney uses the dilator tube because it allows him to perform the surgery without cutting or disturbing surrounding muscles. This technique helps you heal faster and with less pain than traditional open surgeries.
What is the recovery process after a microdiscectomy?
After you’ve recovered in the hospital for a few hours, you can return home to heal. Dr. Courtney provides extensive aftercare instructions about keeping the surgical site clean and taking pain-relieving medications as needed. You’ll follow up with Dr. Courtney within 1-2 weeks for evaluation.
To schedule a microdiscectomy consultation with Dr. Courtney, call Advanced Spine Center or book online now.