Herniated Lumbar Disc Surgery

Back Surgery Information

Information On Herniated Lumbar Disc Surgery

A herniated lumbar disc is sometimes referred to as a slipped disc. It occurs when a piece of spinal disc is dislodged from its normal position or the disc rupture and the gel substance protrudes from the disc. This can occur due to degeneration of the spinal disc. When the disc herniates it can either cause the release of a chemical that causes inflammation which in turn causes excruciating pain, or the herniated disc causes direct compression on the nerve resulting in very severe pain. This severe pain is called sciatica when the compression is affecting the sciatic nerve. In most case a herniated disc will heal itself in time with rest and therapy, but at times herniated lumber disc surgery is needed.

Herniated lumbar disc surgery is usually not the first treatment option for a herniated disc. Doctors prefer to explore other treatment options before advising a herniated lumbar disc surgery.

First, most doctors will advise rest and perhaps pain medication for the patient complaining of back pain to allow the disc to heal without any other intervention. If the disc does not heal by itself, other treatment options will include using anti-inflammatory drugs for the pain and inflammation, use of steroids and physical therapy. Treatment options will vary depending on the patient, there is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

If the non-surgical interventions do not seem to alleviate the pain after about two to three months, it may be time to consider herniated lumbar disc surgery to treat the pain caused by the slipped disc. Herniated lumbar disc surgery may even be considered before the three months of non-surgical treatment in cases where the pain is so severe that it is debilitating and interferes with the daily activities of the individual.

Herniated lumbar disc surgery is considered the immediate treatment option in cases where the disc is causing neurological problems or bladder or bowel dysfunction. The bladder or bowel dysfunction results from nerve function loss resulting from the nerve compression, which is quite serious. Surgery is an immediate course of action to relieve the pressure on the nerves. If this is not done, there may be permanent nerve damage and the patient may not recover completely from the herniated disc.

Some people opt for a herniated lumbar disc surgery even before trying non-surgical treatments because the relief from the pain caused by a herniated disc is almost immediate after surgery. Elective herniated lumbar disc surgery is quite popular because it has a very high success rate with today's less invasive techniques. With a skilled surgeon, the surgery is a very simple procedure.

There are several surgical options. One type of herniated lumbar disc surgery is called a Microdisectomy or disectomy. It is a minimally invasive procedure that requires only a small incision, about 3 centimeters, to be made in the middle of the lower back to extract the bit of disc that is compressing the nerve. This surgery lasts about an hour and is done under general anesthesia. A patient is able to go home right after the procedure and will be able to recover from surgery within a month. Relief from the compression, particularly from leg pain caused by the compression of the nerves is usually immediate.

Like any other surgery there can be complications related to herniated lumbar disc surgery, so be sure and discuss the possible complications with your surgeon before allowing the surgery.

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