Thursday afternoon after our five hour anterior/posterior spinal reconstruction, I performed a 45 minute microsurgery to remove a huge free fragment disc from a young gentleman who was in absolute agony for 3 weeks with radiating leg pain, trouble standing and walking, and leg weakness. His MRI showed a huge L5S1 disc herniation with huge free fragment crushing the S1 nerve root.
His MRI is shown above.
I found the disc using microsurgical techniques crushing the nerve root. I incised over the disc herniation, and pulled out a huge piece of white disc material which came out like a big hunk of “crab meat”. The S1 nerve root immediately looked better, not stretched over the huge mound. The S1 nerve root was so tightly stretched over the herniation that I actually had to take the disc out medial to the nerve root, rather than laterally, since the S1 nerve root was so taught over the herniation. A picture of the offending disc fragment is shown in a little jar – a small piece of tissue, but pushing on a very sensitive part of the body.
Postoperatively the patient did great, with excellent relief of the pain. He went home the next day walking well.
5+ years ago I suffered with a C67 disc herniation for over a year, and finally had it removed when it was unbearable.
I will never forget waking up in recovery room with my L arm pain and shoulder pain gone. What a relief --- Like a lion getting the thorn removed from the paw!!
It is nice to have a balance in our weekly OR and clinic schedule, helping people with everything from a little bit of advice for a home exercise program, up through injections, microsurgery, small decompression and fusions, major scoliosis surgery, and even revision scoliosis and spine surgery. Last week was a great week in this regard.
Lloyd A Hey, MD MS
The Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery