Regis W. Haid, Jr., MD, Spine Surgeon
A lumbar herniated disc is a common cause of low back and leg pain. Discs, which act as shock absorbers for the spine, are located in between each of the vertebrae in the spine. Each disc contains a tire-like outer band (called the annulus fibrosus) that surrounds a gel-like substance (called the nucleus pulposus).
A herniation occurs when the outer band of the disc breaks or cracks and the gel-like substance from the inside of the disc leaks out, placing pressure on the spinal canal or nerve roots. In addition, the nucleus releases chemicals that can irritate the surrounding nerves causing inflammation and pain.
Most lumbar disc herniations occur as a result of sudden stress, such as from an accident. Sometimes they occur gradually, over weeks or even months. The risk factors that can contribute to the chances of a disc herniation, include:
What is minimally invasive spine surgery?
As the name suggests, minimally invasive spine surgery allows the surgeon to make smaller incisions in the skin and avoid large muscle retraction. The surgeon uses a thin telescope-like instrument, called an endoscope, which is inserted through a small incision. A tiny video camera and light are connected to the endoscope and send images from "inside" the body to a screen in the operating room. Small tubes are then inserted through other small incisions. Special surgical instruments are inserted through these tubes and used to perform the surgical procedure.
Advantages of minimally invasive techniques
Minimally invasive spine surgery generally results in the same surgical outcome as with more traditional techniques. However, there are a number of advantages to minimally invasive techniques, including:
Dr. Haid's Use of Minimally Invasive Techniques
Our priority is providing the best care for our patients. For this reason, we offer a variety of minimally invasive techniques that we feel are scientifically proven, but we avoid others that remain unproven or are not right for a particular problem. The minimally invasive techniques we offer include:
We only adopt new techniques when their safety and quality are clearly proven. However, once these proofs have been provided, we are at the forefront of adopting new technologies and techniques for the benefit of our patients