Microdiscectomy Specialist

Surgical Spine Associates

Eugene A Bonaroti, MD, FACS

Board Certified Neurological Spine Surgeon with locations in Irwin, Cranberry, and Washington, PA

When you have a herniated disc that causes lower back pain along with pain that radiates down your leg, a microdiscectomy may be the procedure you need to return to optimal health. At Surgical Spine Associates, Eugene Bonaroti, MD, FACS, specializes in minimally invasive procedures such as microdiscectomy and uses the most advanced technology to ensure each patient achieves the best possible results. To learn if a microdiscectomy can relieve your pain, call one of the offices in Irwin, Cranberry, or Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania, or book an appointment online.

Microdiscectomy Q & A

What is a microdiscectomy?

A microdiscectomy is a surgical procedure that treats a herniated disc by removing the damaged portion of the disc. This procedure decompresses the nerves affected by the herniation, giving you relief from the radiating leg pain of sciatica.

When you have sciatica, the compressed spinal nerve causes severe pain that suddenly shoots down one leg. You may also experience tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness in the affected leg.

After a microdiscectomy, most patients experience immediate relief from the pain and tingling. It may take a little longer to get relief from the numbness and weakness, however. Those symptoms improve slowly as the decompressed nerves heal.

What happens during a microdiscectomy?

A microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive procedure in which Dr. Bonaroti makes a small incision and inserts a narrow tube that he uses to gently separate the muscles and open a tunnel to the targeted disc. 

Once Dr. Bonaroti has access to the herniated disc, he uses specialized instruments that fit through the tube and an endoscope or operating microscope to view the surgical site. 

After removing the damaged, herniated portion of the disc, he removes the instruments, closes the incision, and your procedure is finished. Most patients can go home the same day.

What is Barricaid®, and how does it prevent disc reherniation?

As one of today’s newest spinal implants, the Barricaid device offers cutting-edge technology that prevents recurrent disc herniation. It’s currently the only FDA-approved device that can repair large defects in the outer cover of the herniated disc.

When the outer cover of the disc has a large opening or weak spot, you have a higher risk of developing another herniation after the first one is repaired. 

Dr. Bonaroti talks with you about the Barricaid before your microdiscectomy, and if you decide to get the device, he measures the defect in the cover after removing the herniated portion of the disc.

If your defect is large enough to qualify for Barricaid, he attaches the metal arm of the device to the vertebra. Once the device is attached, a plastic flap attached to the metal arm blocks the hole, forming a barrier that reduces your risk of reherniation.

If you suffer from back pain due to a herniated disc, call Surgical Spine Associates or book an appointment online to learn if you’re a good candidate for a microdiscectomy.