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Lumbar Herniated Discectomy

Lumbar Herniated Discectomy - What it is


Discectomy is a surgical procedure involving the removal of herniated disc material that is pressing on a nerve root or spinal cord.

Lumbar Spine

  • Each lumbar vertebra is formed by a round block of bone, called a vertebral body, and a bony arch attached to the back of each vertebral body
  • The bony arch has two parts: Two pedicle bones and two lamina bones
  • When the vertebrae are stacked on top of each other, they form a hollow tube that surrounds the spinal cord and nerves. The laminae provide a protective roof over these
  • The intervertebral disc sits between two adjacent vertebrae

Lumbar Disc Degeneration

  • Due to natural loss of elasticity and/or injury over the years, the disc degenerates. The degenerated disc may herniate backwards into the spinal canal and press on a spinal nerve root
  • Weak spot is directly under the nerve root
  • 90% occurs in either the L4-5 or L5-S1 region
  • Compression of the spinal nerves results in severe radiating pain or numbness or weakness of muscles
  • Severe compression can lead to permanent nerve damage

Lumbar Disc Herniation

  • L5 nerve impingement from a herniated disc can cause weakness in extension of the big toe and potentially in the ankle (foot drop). Numbness and pain can be felt on top of the foot, and the pain may also radiate into the rear
  • S1 nerve impingement from a herniated disc may cause loss of the ankle reflex and/or weakness in ankle push off (e.g. patients cannot do toe rises). Numbness and pain can radiate down to the sole or outside of the foot

Lumbar Herniated Discectomy - Symptoms

Lumbar Herniated Discectomy - How to prevent?

Lumbar Herniated Discectomy - Causes and Risk Factors

Lumbar Herniated Discectomy - Diagnosis

Lumbar Herniated Discectomy - Preparing for surgery

Lumbar Herniated Discectomy - Post-surgery care

Lumbar Herniated Discectomy - Other Information

The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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