Case Study: Lumbar Disc Herniation
- The patient is a 60-year-old female with severe low back pain and left leg numbness and weakness after a martial arts class.
- She had severe weakness of her left leg.
Sagittal and axial MRI sections showing left paracentral L5-S1 disc herniation with extruded (free-floating) fragment compressing the nerve.
- Left-sided L5-S1 disc herniation with extruded fragment
- MIS (minimally invasive surgery) microdiscectomy done through tubular retractor with a microscope
- 45 minutes of operative time
- 5 cc blood loss
Intra-operative photos and a X-ray image showing a 18 mm tubular retractor placed between muscle planes exposing the L5-S1 level for the microdiscectomy. The final incision is smaller than a thumb.
- The patient went home three hours after surgery for herniated disc. Weakness and numbness resolved immediately.
- At six weeks, the patient went to therapy for core strengthening.
- At 12 weeks, she was back in her martial arts class and exercising in the gym.
- In a patient of these characteristics (young and high-demand athlete), MIS microdiscectomy performed between muscle planes with no muscle cutting through a 18 mm incision allowed her to return to her physical activities quickly without any restrictions.
Saint Barnabas Medical Center
Formerly St. Luke’s-Roosevelt
Hospital in Manhattan
Formerly Lenox Hill Hospital