Spine or backbone is a unique structure with a canal contain in it. This canal carries the bunch of nerves from brain to different parts of body. These nerves are susceptible to damage – compression from various things like a displaced disc. Over grown bony ledges, tissue from behind aka ligamentum flavum and displaced vertebra. Spine Surgery is a surgery to remove a herniated or degenerative disc in the lower spine.

Such a compression irritates the nerve and causes pain to go down into leg aka sciatica. In advanced stages, there might be burning sensation in the area of the nerve, numbness, tingling, and loss of muscle power. The commonest cause in clinical practice is a displaced disc. The gel-like material within the disc can bulge or rupture through a weak area in the surrounding wall (annulus).

Lumbar discectomy is a surgery to remove a herniated or degenerative disc in the lower spine. The incision is made posterior, through the back muscles, to remove the disc pressing on the nerve. The surgery can be perform in an open or minimally invasive technique.

Spine Surgery Case

Presented here is a case of a young female who developed sudden severe pain going down into her left leg. While lifting a bucket full of water. After initial pain killers, MRI shows a herniate disc at level L4-L5 on the left side. A fair trial of 6 weeks of physiotherapy, rest and medicines. However, towards the end of one month, she started developing numbness in her left foot. There was no loss of muscle function.

At the end of 6 weeks, failing any relief, she is advise discectomy. Patient was taken to Operation Theater and made to lie prone- on her tummy under anesthesia. Midline incision is give and muscles separate. The level confirmed under image intensifier. A small piece of bone – lamina is remove and nerve root exposes. The offending disc removed and the nerve freed of any compression. The girl was able to walk pain free the next day. The numbness however took approx. 2 months to recover.