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How Microdiscectomy Can Relieve Pain

Spine pain demands a response and when conservative options don’t cut it, surgery is usually recommended.  If you’re suffering from chronic back pain, you’ll want to read this.

This post explains how microdiscectomy can relieve pain and what the procedure entails.  If you’re considering surgery to relieve back pain, this option is well worth discussing with your doctor.  While it’s not right for everyone with spine pain, exploring the intervention with your doctor will start a conversation about relieving your pain with surgical options.

When Nerves Flare Up

When there’s pressure on the root of a nerve, inflammation results.  The pressure on the nerve compels it to send a pain message.

Your discs do an important job.  They’re shock absorbers which protect the vertebrae from impact.  Filled with a gel-like substance, when the discs fail and herniate the change in the structure of your spine can impinge on nerve roots.  The gel-like substance is pushed outside the hard coating of the disc, which is an anomaly your spine will object to with pain that tells you it’s time to seek medical support.

If you’ve had a disc herniation, your doctor will most likely have applied conservative interventions to reduce and eliminate pain.  But these don’t work for everyone.

If your pain has persisted for several months, a microdiscectomy may be the answer.

Tremendous Success Rate

This procedure involves the total excision (removal) of the implicated disc. With a success rate of 85 to 90%, the chances are extremely good that your outcome will be excellent.

Disc herniations can cause pain, weakness and tingling in the legs and buttocks.  With the microdiscectomy, most patients experience immediate relief.  In some cases, though, it takes up to two months for the painful sensations to completely subside.

If the nerve has been impinged (pinched) for a significant amount of time, there will most likely continue to be some pain, weakness or tingling to manage.  But most patients find that the improvement following surgery is remarkable.


With all that said, it’s important that patients understand the limitations of this surgery.  Part of the procedure involves the surgeon removing all remaining contents of the disc through a hole made to facilitate this work.  The hole does not close following the operation and the removal of the remainder of the disc’s contents means that a permanent trauma has occurred to your spinal structures.

Patients must take care following surgery.  Surgery, while effective in most cases, is not the conclusion of your journey.  Your part of the bargain is to model good posture, understand body mechanics issues which may led to rupture and maintain your core in good condition.  Following surgery, your doctor will explain this to you and may recommend active recovery with a physical therapist.

Staying strong is a necessity to help you prevent reinjury to your spine, which has been weakened as the result of the herniation.

Central Texas Spine Institute is the private practice of award-winning surgeon, Dr. Randall F. Dryer, MD.  We’re committed to your wellbeing. Contact us.