What can I expect after surgery?
METRx® stands for Minimal Exposure Tubular Retractor. It’s a minimally invasive surgical procedure — so it requires only a very small incision — on your lumbar (low back) spine. The objective of any minimally invasive procedure is to accomplish the same results as traditional surgery while minimizing the trauma to soft tissue.
In this procedure, your Southeastern Spine Institute physician removes only the portion of your disc that’s pinching your spinal root nerve. The pinched root nerve causes the pain you feel.
What to Expect from the METRx® Procedure
Your doctor makes a small incision in your lower back. He then inserts an endoscope, which has a surgical light and small camera. The endoscope helps him keep the incision as small as possible. He also may use an MRI or a fluoroscope to guide the actual surgery.
Once the surgeon has located the nerve impingement, he removes the obstruction, whether it’s a ruptured portion of a disc or bone fragments that have broken off from the vertebra. After he has cleared the area for the root nerve, he removes the endoscope and closes the incision.
Recovering from the METRx® Procedure
You may have some pain after the procedure, but oral medication should make your recovery comfortable. As your nerve heals, you also may have some leg pain, but this is temporary. Muscle spasms in your back or down your leg also may occur.
Please call our office after your procedure to schedule a follow-up appointment 10–14 days after your surgery.
- You can shower after your surgery; however, refrain from bathing or soaking for several days.
- We recommend that you do some walking exercises as soon as you can comfortably get on your feet.
- Sitting may make you sore, so we recommend that you limit your sitting to 10–15 minutes at a time.