Discectomy or Microdiscectomy for Sciatica

Microdiscectomy and discectomy are medical terms used for spinal surgical procedures that are designed to surgically remove a part of an intervertebral disc or an entire intervertebral disc. These two operative procedures and also common sciatica surgery procedures that are performed when the patient suffers from severe Sciatica nerve pain that shows no sign of improvement even after six to twelve weeks of non-surgical treatment options.

The main difference between the two procedures is that microdiscectomy uses microscopic magnification while discectomy is done without a surgical microscope. Both the surgical sciatica procedures are performed to remove a ruptured or herniated disc. While discectomy is a traditional open surgery, microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive procedure which puts it an advantageous position because the incision made in the surgical procedure is small which helps the patient to recover quickly.

Discectomy or Microdiscectomy Risks

Just like other spinal surgeries, these two surgical procedures come with their set of risks and complications. However, with a minimally invasive procedure like microdiscectomy the fear of complications is less as compared to discectomy but the possibility is not erased completely. The possible risks and complications that can arise after these surgeries include:

  • Damage caused to the nerve root – That may cause additional pain
  • Loss of control on bowel and bladder movements
  • Cerebrospinal fluid leak or dural tear
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Post-operative infection
  • Long recovery and healing time
  • No change or relief from sciatica pain

These symptoms are quite rare in microdiscectomy and may commonly be found after open discectomy.

Discectomy or Microdiscectomy for SciaticaRecovery from Surgery

Recovering from a surgical procedure mostly depends upon factors like the age, health and severity of the spinal condition that the patient is suffering from. In most surgical cases, the patient is allowed to go back home on the same day or may be kept under observation for 2-3 days.

To help the patient recover and heal quickly, he is enrolled in an intense physical therapy exercises program  after the surgical procedure.