Minimally Invasive Surgery for Sciatica
Microsurgery as a sciatic nerve treatment can take the form of microdiscectomy, microlaminoforaminotomy, microlaminotomy, X-Stop, and TLIF, amongst other procedures. Minimally invasive back surgery involves the use of a series of dilators of increasing size to reach the deeper tissues of the back through a much smaller incision than in the traditional open procedure. The surgeon will make use of an endoscope (a tube with a camera on the end) to visualise the area they are operating on. Small, specialized, surgical instruments will also be fed through the tubular retractor to be used by the surgeon when cutting away the material compressing the spinal nerves, and extracting the herniated disc material. Microdiscectomy has a shorter procedure time (around 45mins) compared to open discectomy (73mins), and usually leads to a faster recovery by the patient with less complications. Around 90% to 95% of patients experience relief from sciatica after undergoing a microdiscectomy. In some cases an open procedure may still be necessary, such as when other forms of compression such a ligament calcification or osteophyte growth are present or when spinal fusion needs to occur in conjunction with the discectomy.