Herniated Disc Surgery

Back Surgery Information

Herniated Disc Surgery

A herniated disc is a common injury that occurs to a number of older individuals because the discs in their back are experiencing wear, or younger individuals who have put too much of a strain on their spine. Fortunately, statistics indicate that the majority of individuals with a herniated disc do not require surgery as their condition improves over time. Roughly 50% with such an injury recover in a month's time. Moreover, more than 90% of individuals with herniated discs recover fully within 6 months. Only 10% will ever need herniated disc surgery to correct the problem.

Herniated disc surgery will be considered by your physician based on the conditions present. These include persistent leg pain that has not improved despite 4 weeks of conservative treatment such as bed rest, physical therapy, hot and/or cold packs, exercise, etc. If after physical evaluations which reveal that you have extreme limb weakness or abnormal activity such as loss of motion your physician may suggest that your herniated disc condition be corrected through herniated disc surgery.

It should be noted that the main objective of herniated disc surgery is to ease pain and to allow the individual to move and operate normally. Some of the factors that your physician will take into consideration aside from those mentioned earlier include your age as well as your overall health. It should also be noted that there are special circumstances where herniated disc surgery will not be considered as a viable treatment option. These include situations where back pain is the only symptom present as well as situations where lower back pain is caused by another known factor and not a herniated disc.

There are three common herniated disc surgical options: discectomy, percutaneous discectomy and laminectomy. Discectomy is a popular procedure that is also used to help individuals who have a bulging disc condition. The procedure involves the removal of herniated disc material that is directly pressing on the spinal nerves. The procedure is best suited for individuals who experience severe, disabling pain.

The percutaneous discectomy procedure is a surgical procedure for situations where the disc has not ruptured into the spinal canal. The procedure involves using a special surgical tool inserted through a small incision. The surgeon proceeds to use the tool to remove any herniated material. The effectiveness of this procedure is considered to be less than that of the open discectomy procedure. As such, its use over the years has declined.

The third type of herniated disc surgery, laminectomy, is commonly used to help relieve pressure caused by age-related changes to the spine. The procedure involves the removal of thickened spine tissue which may be narrowing the spinal canal thus, exerting pressure on the spinal nerves. This procedure normally accompanies other herniated disc surgery procedures such as the discectomy.

Herniated disc surgery has greatly improved during the last decade as more less invasive surgeries are being perfected. A patient receiving herniated disc surgery in this day and age will have less recovery time and less complications.