Lumbar Surgery Potential Risk

Dear Ask The Doctor:  What are the risks of lower back surgery and removal of a disc. and is there any damage to muscles etc. when surgery is done

Dear Patient:  As with any surgical procedure, there are risks involved in removal of a disc from the lower back (Lumbar Discectomy). The potential complications vary somewhat depending on the surgical technique employed to remove the disc. The following are some of the common complications:

Intraoperative bleeding
Leg pain and numbness
Persistent symptoms

Though these complications are possible, they do not occur in every patient. In fact, the complication rate for lumbar discectomy is only 2-4%. Significant damage to muscles does not occur in this procedure.

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