If you’re suffering with severe leg pain (sciatica) caused by a herniated disc, you may be considering surgery. That used to mean large incisions and an often painful and lengthy recovery. But with new minimally invasive techniques, you can now find relief and get back on your feet faster than ever.
At Heartland Regional Medical Group, our skilled spine surgeon performs microdiscectomy—the gold standard treatment for alleviating or even eliminating sciatic pain. With just a few small incisions, it relieves pressure on spinal nerves by removing the material causing the pain.
We usually perform the procedure on an outpatient basis, allowing you to leave the same day and recover comfortably at home.
Is Microdiscectomy for Me?
Sciatica is caused by compression of the spinal nerve, most often the result of a herniated lumbar (low back) disc. Most cases of sciatica heal naturally with a little time. But if the pain persists and becomes debilitating, you may benefit from a microdiscectomy.
Your doctor may recommend the procedure if:
- Leg pain is your main symptom, rather than simply lower back pain
- You’ve experienced the leg pain for at least six weeks
- The pain makes it hard to sleep, work or perform everyday activities
- An MRI scan or other test shows a herniated disc
- Nonsurgical treatments such as oral steroids, anti-inflammatories and physical therapy have not brought enough relief
The procedure is highly common with excellent success and rare complications, but as with any surgery there are benefits and risks. Your surgeon at Heartland Regional Medical Group will carefully talk through it all so you can make the best decision for your health and life.
How the Procedure Works
Microdiscectomy typically takes about an hour, under general anesthesia. The procedure involves removing just a small portion of the herniated disc that is placing pressure on the spinal nerves. Our surgeons use a single, tiny incision to remove the disc herniation and with minimally disruption to surrounding, sensitive tissues.
The spinal nerve now has the space it needs inside the spinal column, so the relief is nearly immediate.