What is it?

The procedure using the METRx™ System is an operation on the lumbar spine performed using microscope and microsurgical techniques.

The METRx™ System procedure requires only a very small incision and will remove only the portion of the ruptured disc, which is “pinching” one or more spinal nerve roots. The recovery time for this particular surgery is usually much less than is required for traditional lumbar surgery.

Why is it done?

Lumbar microdiscectomy using the METRx™ System is usually recommended only when specific conditions are met. In general, surgery is recommended when a ruptured disc is pinching a spinal nerve root(s) and you have:

  1. Leg pain which limits your normal daily activities
  2. Weakness in your leg(s) or feet
  3. Numbness in your extremities
  4. Impaired bowel and/or bladder function

The Operation


metrxdiscectomy_pinchIn the operating room, the METRx™ System begins with a small incision in your lower back. Through this opening, your surgeon will insert the endoscope and surgical instruments. Because the work is viewed through an endoscope, this approach requires a relatively small incision.

Reaching the “Pinched” Nerve

Guided by diagnostic studies, your surgeon may remove a small portion of bony material from the back of your vertebra. Once this material is removed, the surgeon can locate the exact area where the nerve root is being pinched.

Identifying the Cause of the Pressure

metrxdiscectomy_pressOnce the “pinched” nerve is located, the extent of the pressure on the nerve can be determined. Using endoscopic microsurgical procedures, your surgeon will remove the ruptured portion of the disc and any disc fragments which have broken off from the main disc. The amount of work required to complete your METRx™ System will depend in part on the number of disc fragments present and the difficulty presented in finding and removing them.

Closing the Incision

The operation is completed when the endoscope is removed and the incision is closed with suture materials and a bandage.

Stem Cell

Center for Spine Care offers stem cell therapy as a conservative treatment to promote natural healing for back or neck pain. Utilizing mesenchymal stem cells, this new method is used to treat patients with neck and back pain caused from degenerative disc disease.