Lumbar microdiscectomy is a procedure that refers to the removal of part of the lumbar spinal disc that compresses the nerve roots. In some cases the whole disc needs to be removed. Typically this is done using a surgical microscope. Surgery requires a small incision on your or the back (2-4cm), and is carried out under a General anaesthetic and usually involves a 1-2 stay in hospital.
Spinal decompression surgery refers to the removal of parts of the spine that cause compression such as bone, bonny spurs, overgrown ligaments, cysts etc. Terms such as laminectomy, hemilaminectomy, partial hemilaminectomy are often used and refer to the removal of part of the vertebrae called lamina from an incision on your back. This can be performed on any part of the spine but more commonly on the lumbar spine. On cervical spine decompression is performed in vast majority from the front and involves removal of the whole disc with overgrown bone. Removed disc is than replaced with artificial cage and bone like material and sometimes reinforced with plate and screws. This will cause bone fusion between affected vertebrae. In some cases fusion is also necessary in the lumbar spine mostly if there is instability due to spondylolisthesis.
Cervical spine decompression is performed in the vast majority of patients from the front and involves removal of the whole disc with overgrown bone. Removed disc is than replaced with an artificial cage and bone like material and sometimes reinforced with plate and screws. This will cause bone fusion between affected vertebrae.
A nerve root injection is an injection of local anaesthetic and steroid (anti-inflammatory) medication around a nerve in the lower back as it leaves the spine under X-ray guidance. Your specialist thinks that the symptoms in your lower back and/or leg are due to irritation of a nerve by a damaged disc or bony spur. The aim of the injection is to establish if this nerve is the source of your symptoms and to relieve those symptoms by reducing inflammation around the nerve. The procedure is performed under X-ray or CT guidance by a specialist consultant.
A facet joint injection may be done to help diagnose the facet joints as the source of the patient’s pain, as well as to provide pain relief.
Facet joints are pairs of small joints in between the vertebrae in the back of the spine. These joints have opposing surfaces of cartilage, which limits friction between the bones. The joint is surrounded by a capsule filled with a small amount of synovial fluid. The synovial fluid acts as an additional lubricant to reduce friction between bones that rub together.
Healthy facet joints support the spine while also allowing a wide range of twisting and bending motion. These joints may become inflamed and painful due to a variety of conditions, such as osteoarthritis, degenerated discs, spinal stenosis, or from a trauma such as a car accident. A lumbar facet joint injection is an injection of local anaesthetic and steroid (anti-inflammatory) medication inside or around a facet joint in the lower back under X-ray or CT guidance. The aim of the injection is to establish if this facet joint is the source of your symptoms and to relieve those symptoms by reducing inflammation around the joint.
Any risks or complications will be discussed in advance of your treatment with your consultant.