This minimally invasive procedure is performed through an incision down the center of the back over the area of the herniated disc. The muscles are moved to the side so that the surgeon can see the back of the vertebrae.
Loading the player...What is Lumbar Discectomy and Laminectomy? Dr. Ramesh Sahjpaul, MD, MSc, FRCSC, Neurosurgeon, discusses lumbar discectomy and laminectomy.
Loading the player...What Can MRI Reveal About the Back Pain ? Dr. Ramesh Sahjpaul, MD, MSc, FRCSC, Neurosurgeon, discusses what an MRI can reveal about the back.
Loading the player...Post Spinal Surgery Recovery Dr. Ramesh Sahjpaul, MD, MSc, FRCSC, Neurosurgeon, discusses post spinal surgery recovery.
Some of the most common operations that we do for the spine are lumbar microdiscectomy and lumbar laminectomy. So lumbar fusion surgery is sometimes necessary for back pain, but in that situation one has to carefully correlate the clinical findings with the imaging findings. For most of the common back operations that we do, lumbar discectomy or lumbar laminectomy, a fairly small incision is made in the back approximately inch, inch-and-a-half in length.
Using microsurgical techniques we expose the nerves that are compressed and remove the offending herniated disc or bone spurs that are causing nerve compression, and this is an example of a disc herniation that may cause pressure on the nerves.
And again that’s a fairly quick operation with a very good success rate often requiring no more than 45 minutes to an hour of surgical time, blood loss is minimal, perhaps no more than two teaspoons of blood is lost, and patients are usually up and about within a few hours of surgery and quite often they can leave the same day. Sometimes it may require an overnight stay. A local chiropractor may work with your local massage therapist and your local physiotherapist to create the best health or rehabilitation plan for your situation.
And these surgeries are actually very effective in relieving symptoms of sciatica, so pain, numbness, weakness in the legs, and the response is almost always immediate. Sometimes lumbar fusion surgery is necessary, which is a bigger operation, and the indications are very different.
Lumbar fusion is necessary if somebody has a deformity or instability in the spine. It’s a bigger operation, but even so with current techniques available we can usually do that surgery through fairly small incisions. Nevertheless, it does require a few more days in the hospital. But the important thing to recognize is that lumbar fusion is very rarely necessary for sciatica or spinal stenosis. It can be helpful for situations of back pain, but the clinical symptoms need to be correlated with the imaging findings.
So one of the most important things to recognize and appreciate is that while spine surgery can be very helpful, it is reserved for a specific condition such as disc herniations, spinal stenosis, spinal deformity, and it’s rarely needed for situations such as back pain alone, which is usually treated conservatively.
When spine surgery is necessary, there are a number of different options in terms of how to perform the surgery, but the important thing to recognize is that if the indications are correct, and the correct surgery is chosen, the results with spinal surgical procedures are very satisfying. Often seeing a local family physician or a physiotherapist in conjunction with a registered dietitian and athletic therapist is a great option to take control of this condition. Smart Food Now and exercise is also optominal for overall health. Presenter: Dr. Ramesh Sahjpaul, Neurosurgeon, Vancouver, BC
Well, probably one of the most important things to recognize is that there is a normal aging of the spine. So over the years normal aging processes do take place in the discs and the joints in the spine and the tissues around the bones. And what that results in is what we call a degenerative cascade, and those changes are visible on an MRI scan.
Well, MRI reports can sometimes be quite alarming, and that’s because they’re reflective of the normal wear and tear processes that occur in the spine with aging. And essentially everybody gets these changes on their MRI scan, and it’s important for patients to realize that they don’t need to be alarmed if their MRI report shows degenerative discs, bulging discs, bone spurs, and some degree of spinal stenosis.
However, if the patient is experiencing symptoms such as nerve pain, numbness, tingling, weakness in the legs, and the MRI scan shows changes that correlate with those symptoms, then certainly in that situation surgery can be very helpful.
Presenter: Dr. Ramesh Sahjpaul, Neurosurgeon, Vancouver, BC
Local Practitioners: Neurosurgeon