Microscopic Disc Surgery Specialist

Woodbury Spine  -  - Orthopaedic Spine Specialist

Woodbury Spine

Orthopaedic Spine Specialists & Orthopaedic Spine Surgeons located in Woodbury, NJ

Microscopic disc surgery or microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive procedure for removing damaged parts of the discs between vertebrae. If you have a bulging or herniated disc that's causing unrelievable back or neck pain, orthopaedic spine specialist Evan O'Brien, MD, and Chris Hennessey, PA, at Woodbury Spine, can help. At their practice in Woodbury, New Jersey, they perform expert microscopic disc surgery to relieve the pressure on your spinal nerves that's responsible for your pain. To benefit from their expertise in microscopic disc surgery, call Woodbury Spine, or book an appointment online today.

Microscopic Disc Surgery Q & A

What is microscopic disc surgery?

microscopic disc surgery

Microscopic disc surgery or microdiscectomy is a surgical procedure Dr. O'Brien performs to relieve spinal nerve compression or irritation.

To carry out microscopic disc surgery, Dr. O'Brien uses minimally invasive techniques to extract the damaged portion of the intervertebral disc that's causing your symptoms.

Why might I need microscopic disc surgery?

The most common reason for needing microscopic disc surgery is a bulging or herniated disc that's putting pressure on your spinal nerves.

The protective discs in your spine sit between the vertebrae, keeping the spinal column stable and absorbing shock. As a result of an acute injury or, more often, degenerative disc disease, the softer center of the disc may push against or through the tougher exterior. This bulging or herniated material squashes the nearby nerves, causing radiculopathy.

Radiculopathy is the term for spinal pain arising from nerve compression. It can cause recurring or persistent pain, as well as tingling, weakness, numbness, and potentially loss of function. 

Sciatica – a common low back problem that causes shooting pain down one leg – is one of the best-known forms of radiculopathy.

What happens during microscopic disc surgery?

During microscopic disc surgery, Dr. O'Brien makes a small incision in your back over the problem disc. He then uses magnification with a microscope or magnifying loupes for a close-up view of the disc and nerves.

Next, Dr. O'Brien passes surgical instruments through the incision and carefully removes the bulging or herniated part of the disc and any debris like broken pieces of the disc. Then he sutures the tissues.

How long do I need to recover after microscopic disc surgery?

The minimally invasive techniques Dr. O'Brien uses to perform your microscopic disc surgery cause far less tissue damage than traditional open surgery. Therefore, you experience less pain and recover more quickly.

You should be able to start doing most of your usual activities within 2-4 weeks of undergoing microscopic disc surgery. However, it might take six weeks or possibly longer to recover fully.

After resting for a few days, you should begin exercising gently and start a physical therapy program to optimize your recovery. Don't do any strenuous physical activities, to begin with, though; just allow your therapist to help your spine heal and improve its mobility.

If you have back trouble for which other approaches aren't helping, call Woodbury Spine today or book an appointment online.