This surgery involves removing all or part of the disk that cushions or lubricates the bones in the back and protects the spinal column.
Lumbar diskectomy is surgery to remove all or part of a cushion (intervertebral disk) that separates the bones in the lower back (lumbar vertebrae) and protects the spinal column. Prior to removing the intervertebral disk, the surgeon may also increase the size of the opening that the nerves pass through (foraminotomy), remove part of one or more vertebrae (laminectomy) or join two or more lumbar vertebrae (fusion).
Even without intervention, most episodes of back pain will usually resolve within six to eight weeks. If one of the disks in your spine has moved out of place and is putting pressure on other structures (a herniated disk) it may cause:
To help ease these symptoms, your healthcare provider may recommend medication and specific exercises. A lumbar diskectomy may be recommended if your symptoms:
Prior to surgery, tell your healthcare provider about any medications you are taking (including over-the-counter medications and supplements). Ask about specific instructions you should follow before surgery. These may include:
If you are a smoker, you should quit smoking, as it can interfere with your recovery.
During the surgery you will receive anesthesia to keep you comfortable and pain free.
A lumbar diskectomy typically takes a few hours. You will probably spend a few days in the hospital after surgery. However, if you have a microdiskectomy, you may be discharged the same day. It may take from a few weeks to a few months before you are back to your normal activity level.
Do not forget to make arrangements for transportation to and from the facility and help at home.
What should I ask my healthcare provider before having a lumbar diskectomy?
After your surgery, you should know what you had done, what medication was given, and what symptoms you should report to your healthcare provider. You should also understand all home care instructions (including medications and side effects) and follow-up plans. Your surgeon should also let your primary care physician know the details of your surgery and treatment plan.
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