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Complications of laser disc surgery

Laser disc surgery a minimally invasive surgical technique. It implies to use an endoscope for the treatment of lumbar disc herniation (protruding, extruded or degenerated discs), which have not had a response to traditional therapy and cause neurological symptomatology.


Who is a candidate for laser disc surgery?

We can affirm it is a surgical procedure suitable for patients with the following conditions:

-Have back pain, numbness. Also, cramps that increase by staying in a position, or by having spinal movements, may or may not radiate to the lower limbs.
-When the patient has had 4-6 weeks of treatment and rehabilitation, without getting any results.
-Not having improved with epidural blocks.
-Having NMR (ie MRI) (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance); Computerized Tomography, Myelography or Discography showing a lumbar disc herniation.


What are the complications?

Although it is very rare, complications from this procedure can occur. Nerve injury, dysesthesia, regional painful syndrome, dural fistulas, bladder damage, epidural hematoma, psoas hematoma, segmental instability. These complications require treatment other than surgery if present.

There may be abnormalities of nerves at the foramen level, and that can increase the pain even greater than the preoperative one. Because it works with an injured spine, degenerative processes can never be returned, it is about preventing them from being painful, but the progression of them in the medium term can never be avoided. Even some of these patients will require according to results, alternative management, such as disc replacement, or lumbar fusion.

Another complication that may occur is postoperative fibrosis, although it is minimal in these minimally invasive procedures. The percentage of this is about 1-2%.

Among side effects to surgery (which are not considered complications) the most common are the sensation of numbness of the leg or dysesthesias. It can occur immediately or weeks later. It is believed to be due to chronic nerve compression and post-surgery and decompression, the blood supply is increased. These cases may require medication or some nerve block to desensitize these nerves.


You might also want to read:

What is laser disc surgery?

How is laser disc surgery performed?



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Consultant Spine Surgeon
Consultant Spine Surgeon
Consultant Spine Surgeon
Laser Disc Surgery

This surgical technique consists of a percutaneous approach for the treatment of small to medium size hernias of the intervertebral disc by laser energy. The main objective is to reduce the intradiscal pressure in the nucleus pulposus

Laser Disc Surgery
Laser Disc Surgery can be performed under local anaesthetic as a day case at our centre on the prestigious Harley Street.
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The London Spine Unit was established in 2005 and has successfully treated over 5000 patients. All conditions are treated.

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The London Spine Unit specialises in Minimally Invasive Treatments allowing rapid recovery and return to normal function

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