What is Far Lateral Discectomy?
A Far Lateral Discectomy is an option for people with herniated discs that are putting pressure on the nerves in the spinal column.
It can help to relieve pain and prevent or stop nerve damage.
Why is a Far Lateral Discectomy Performed?
This kind of surgery allows for a minimally invasive approach to lumbar pain. It can provide pain relief without a major spine surgery, and an extremely long recovery time. This allows patients to resume their normal activities much sooner, within as little as 4 to 6 weeks.
How is a Far Lateral Discectomy Performed?
To perform the procedure, your surgeon will create a small incision in your back, and use dilating tubes to avoid damage to the surrounding muscles to reach the herniated disc.
Once located, the surgeon will carefully extract the damaged disc and insert a taller artificial bone into the space to prevent future compression.
What To Expect After a Far Lateral Discectomy
Typically, patients are able to be discharged from the hospital just a few hours after the surgery – though patients are recommended to limit heavy lifting, twisting or bending for a minimum of 6 weeks in order to prevent a disc from herniating again.
Some patients may find physical therapy helps them to safely regain their motion post-surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions about Far Lateral Discectomy
1. Is a discectomy major surgery?
Overall, a discectomy is a major surgery, but there are minimally invasive options.
2. How painful is a discectomy?
The appropriate pain management will be given, as needed but soreness and stiffness after surgery are common. Some patients see this, as well as their pain, disappear within just days after the surgery.