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Minimally invasive lumbar decompression is a type of surgery that is done to treat back pain or sciatica caused by bulging or herniated discs or by facet joint arthritis. The surgery can help offer you relief of pain coming from your lower back.

Sciatica and back pain can limit your ability to enjoy your normal work and recreational activities. The pain can prevent you from comfortably sitting, standing or walking, and it may interfere with your ability to enjoy time with your friends and family.

Symptoms typical of sciatica and back pain from your lumbar spine include:

  • Pain in your back
  • Pain in one or both of your buttocks
  • Pain in your thigh or lower leg
  • Numbness or tingling in your thigh, leg or foot
  • Weakness in your thigh or leg

If you have any of these symptoms, visit your doctor right away. Many conservative treatments may be available to help treat your pain. Physical therapy, chiropractic care or steroid injections may help decrease your symptoms and improve your mobility.

If those conservative treatments fail, you may need to find a NJ neurosurgeon who specializes in minimally invasive lumbar decompression.

What is Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression?

Back pain and sciatica are often caused by compression of spinal nerves that travel from your spinal canal down into your buttocks, thighs or legs. Typically, this compression is caused by arthritis, degenerative disc disease (DDD) or herniated or bulging discs. When these structures pinch on spinal nerves, you may experience pain, abnormal sensation and weakness.

The goal of minimally invasive lumbar decompression is to take pressure off of your spinal nerves. This is done by a NJ neurosurgeon who uses innovative minimally invasive surgical techniques.

Minimally invasive lumbar decompression involves several steps. These typically are as follows:

  • Your surgeon makes a tiny incision in your low back and your back muscle is carefully spread apart with tubes called “dilators”
  • Specialized instruments are introduced through the incisions to visualize the structures of your back and to cut away material that is pinching your spinal nerves.
  • The surgical tools are then removed and your incisions are sutured.

After your surgery, you can expect to spend one evening in the hospital. Typically, you will be discharged home the following day to start your recovery. Your doctor can help you understand what the recovery process will entail.

Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression Benefits

Why do so many New Jersey back pain sufferers choose minimally invasive lumbar decompression surgery over the standard open approach to back surgery? Because the benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery outweigh those of the standard open approach.

Benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery include:

  • Decreased risk of infection
  • Less blood loss
  • Decreased pain
  • Sparing of lumbar musculature
  • Rapid recovery

Everyone’s surgical experience is different, and your minimally invasive lumbar decompression may not be like anyone else’s. Finding a neurosurgeon you trust is of paramount importance when choosing to have minimally invasive spine surgery.

Putting Your Trust in a Neurosurgeon for Surgery

The most important piece of advice that most doctors give to patients is to find a neurosurgeon that you trust to perform your minimally invasive spine surgery. Neurosurgeons know that your surgical outcome can be improved by working with a neurosurgeon that you trust will work in your best interest.

When facing spine surgery, you need to have all members of your medical team working with you to ensure that things go smoothly. From the front office staff to the insurance specialists and nursing staff, when you have a trusted neurosurgical team working with you, you can focus your energy on your complete recovery from minimally invasive lumbar decompression surgery.

Finding a Trusted Surgeon for Your Lumbar Decompression

So how do you find a New Jersey neurosurgeon who performs minimally invasive lumbar decompression that you can trust? Here are some ideas:

  • Ask your family physician for a referral to trusted neurosurgeons
  • Search the internet for positive reviews on NJ neurosurgeons who perform minimally invasive lumbar decompression
  • Ask family members and friends for a referral

The best way to develop a trusting therapeutic alliance with your neurosurgeon is to meet with him or her to discuss the specifics of your condition and pending surgery. Does your doctor listen to and answer your concerns and questions about surgery? Does he or she offer you alternatives to surgery? Do you trust that your doctor is working in your best interest?

By meeting with a few neurosurgeons regarding your surgery, you can find the right one who treats you with individualized care and respect.

Lumbar Decompression Recovery Timeline

Most doctors advise that their patients learn about their expected recovery from surgery before entering the operating room. Understanding what to expect after surgery means that you can be sure that no surprises will arise during your recovery from minimally invasive lumbar decompression.

In general, recovery from minimally invasive lumbar decompression may involve:

  • Spending one day in the hospital after surgery and then being discharged home
  • Following up with your doctor after surgery
  • Gradually increasing your walking and activity level
  • Full return to work and recreational activities after 4 to 6 weeks

Remember that everyone heals differently from surgery, and your course of recovery from minimally invasive lumbar decompression may vary slightly. Be sure to work closely with your doctor to understand your expected recovery and how to maximize your outcome from minimally invasive lumbar decompression.

Facing spine surgery can be frightening and cause anxiety, which may leave you feeling nervous about your recovery and what to expect. Finding the right neurosurgeon who you trust is an important first step. Listening to your doctor’s advice can help you feel at ease about your surgery and recovery.

By finding the best neurosurgeon for your condition, you can be sure to focus your energy on a quick and safe return to your previous active lifestyle after minimally invasive lumbar decompression surgery.
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