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Posterior Excision of Disc Prolapse

Why might a Posterior Excision of Disc Prolapse be needed?

A posterior excision of disc prolapse (a lumbar decompression) is recommended for people with spinal stenosis, fractures or tissue swelling in the spine, cancer spreading to the spine or for those suffering from spinal stenosis. The procedure is used to improve symptoms such as persistent pain and numbness.

spine pain

What are the risks with a Posterior Excision of Disc Prolapse?

Decompression of the spine is effective at relieving symptoms of pain and numbness, however there can be complications further down the line, or straight after. This procedure has the same risks involved as any surgery. These can include:

  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Scarring
  • Numbness

Complications that are specific to this procedure include:

  • Dural tear
  • Leakage of spinal fluid
  • Facial sores
  • Nerve injury/paralysis

How to prepare for a Posterior Excision of Disc Prolapse

Before your procedure, your surgeon will provide you with detailed instructions on how to prepare. We will also give you access to our OneWelbeck app so that you are familiar with our site and your doctor before even arriving. Here’s what you should do and plan for before the surgery:

  • Don’t eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery.
  • Wear comfortable clothing
  • Plan with family or friends. You will be slow for a while after the surgery.

On the day of the surgery you will taken to your own private bay where you will be able to ask questions to your surgeon.

What will happen during my surgery?

You will be placed under anaesthesia for the procedure. Additionally, you may be given medicines to help you relax. Once under the anaesthetic, you will be placed onto your front so that the surgeon can make an incision over the affected area. The surgeon will then remove bone spurs and cut away ligaments that are compressing the nerves. At the end of the surgery the wound will be stitched and closed appropriately.

What happens after a Posterior Excision of Disc Prolapse?

You will firstly be transported to a post-op bay area so we can check that you are doing okay. If admitted into OneWelbeck, you will most likely be able to go home on the same day. However, you may feel pain after having the procedure. You may need some help from friends or family over the next few days with walking, therefore you may need to limit your planned activities. Your doctor will recommend you on which pain medication to take, and what possible physiotherapy you should undergo. Recovery time will depend on the complexity of the surgery. If it was a minor procedure, you may be able to return to light activity after a few weeks.

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Information For GPs

If you are a GP and would like to refer a patient, ask a question or enquire about our education events, please visit our dedicated GP page, by clicking here.