Lumbar Portal Discectomy

What is a Lumbar Portal Discectomy?

A lumbar portal discectomy is used to treat a disc herniation. Lumbar disc herniations are very common and often don’t cause any symptoms.

The herniated disc’s contents cannot be pushed back but will often dry out and shrink away.

During the endoscopic discectomy, only loose parts of the nucleus within the disc and spinal canal are removed. The annulus tear cannot be repaired, but usually heals over time by scarring, and the back pain may settle with it.

A discectomy is performed to relieve pressure on nerves and the resulting leg symptoms. It is not performed for back pain.

Indications

Possible symptoms affecting one or both legs due to a lumbar disc herniation include:

  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Pins and needles
  • Weakness

Usually these symptoms will improve without surgery within 6-12 weeks.

The size of the hernia is not related to the amount of pain, however if the herniated disc is pushing on spinal nerves and causing severe pain, bowel or bladder problems, then urgent surgery is considered. Resulting problems include an inability to pass urine, or numbness in the crotch or buttocks.

Goals

The aim of the endoscopic discectomy is to remove the protruding part of the intervertebral disc while minimizing the damage to the nearby tissues.

 

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