Disc decompression is a minimally invasive procedure that can help relieve pain, numbness and decreased mobility caused by nerve pressure created by a ruptured, herniated or bulging disc. This technique is performed by inserting a small instrument under X-ray guidance through the skin to reach the affected disc and provide treatment.
The spine is composed of vertebrae separated by discs that are designed to provide support and minimize the impact that bones sustain daily. As we age, these discs can weaken, and their outer walls (or annuli fibrosi) can become more vulnerable to ripping or tearing. When a disc ruptures, its inner gel-like material, also called the nucleus pulposus, may extrude into the spinal column. This gel can place pressure on the nerves and lead to subsequent pain. Age-related degenerative disc disease is a leading factor in the herniation and bulging of discs, but traumatic injury of the spine hastens disc degeneration.
Disc decompression is a procedure that removes disc material as a way to “decompress” or release the pressure placed on neural tissue, addressing the source of the patient’s pain. Disc decompression may be recommended for treatment of a variety of conditions, such as sciatica, a symptom of an inflamed or injured sciatic nerve. During the procedure, a surgeon uses fluoroscopic imagery to insert small instruments through the skin and into the damaged disc. Small amounts of the nucleus are removed, reducing the swelling of the disc and relieving nerve pressure.
At Laser Spine Institute, we perform a highly advanced disc decompression technique called discectomy. During this innovative procedure, a small incision is made and a tube is inserted. Small surgical instruments are able to access and remove herniated disc or bulging disc material. Patients are typically back on their feet within a couple hours after the procedure, and some patients feel pain relief immediately. Most of our patients report relief from their symptoms within a short period of time.
To learn more about Laser Spine Institute’s discectomy, please contact us. We will be happy to answer your questions and provide a review of your MRI or CT scan to determine if you are a candidate for one of our procedures.