Microdiscectomy spine surgery is reported to be 90% to 95% successful in patients. see “Microdiscectomy Spine Surgery: Risks, Complications, and Success Rates,” Peter F. Ullrich, MD, published in Spine-health.com. This type of spine surgery is done on an outpatient basis or with a minimum one night stay over at the hospital. Usually most patients can return to their normal routine after discharge. More conservative spine surgeons may restrict a patient from bending, lifting or twisting for six weeks after the spine surgery. The patient’s back is machanically the same so it is possible to return to the same level of activity following the surgery, according the Dr. Ullrich.
Microdiscectomy Success Rate.
The success rate for microdiscectomy spine surgery is high – approximately 95%, although 5% to 10% of patients will develop a recurrent disc herniation at some point in the future. The good news is that even after a recurrent disc herniation that generally a revision microdiscectomy will also be successful. However, after a recurrence patients are at higher risk of further recurrences – 15% to 20% chance according to Dr. Ullrich.
For patients with mulitple herniated disc recurrences, a spinal fusion may be recommended to prevent further recurrences. This procedure is removing the entire disc space and fusing the level is the most common way to assure that there are no further herniated discs.
Risks Associated With Microdiscectomy.
Although the success rate of microdiscectomy is high, there are a few risks and complications that most surgeons will inform their patients about. These risks and complications may include:
- Dural tear (cerebrospinal fluid leak) – this happens in about 1% to 2% of these surgeries, does not change the results of the surgery, but post-operatively the patient may be asked to lay recumbent for one to two days to allow the leak to seal.
- Nerve root damage
- Bowel/bladder incontinence
However these microdiscectomy risks are rare according the Dr. Ullrich.
Some causes of herniated discs may be a life-style of lifting heavy objects, age and degenerative changes in the spine and also trama to the spine as often caused in a motor vehicle rear-end crash. Rear-end car crashes are a common cause of disc herniation, even in cases were the occupant may of had a prior degenerative disc disease. The more severe the rea-end impact the greater to chances of spinal injury. The neck and spine are complicated mechanisms that turn, twist and bend on the sever impact.
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