Discectomy

A discectomy is a surgical procedure performed for patients who have a damaged or diseased intervertebral disc. In many patients, herniated discs can lead to several uncomfortable symptoms, including weakness, numbness and pain. To address these issues, physicians recommend patients try conservative, non-surgical treatments, including pain medications, physical therapy or osteopathic manipulative treatment. If these methods don’t yield sufficient results, then heath care providers may suggest surgery.

So how exactly does a discectomy help relieve symptoms? To answer that question, let’s first consider the general structure of the spine. Between the spine’s vertebrae, there are small passageways through which nerves exit the vertebral column to innervate other areas of the body. The intervertebral discs also fit between vertebrae, but when they become herniated, a gel-like substance called the nucleus pulposus extrudes into the area surrounding the disc. This extruded material may put pressure on one or more nerve roots, causing the worst symptoms of a herniated disc.

During an open discectomy, either part of or the entire damaged intervertebral disc is carefully removed from the spinal canal.

At Laser Spine Institute, we perform an alternative procedure called a discectomy. In this minimally invasive procedure, the extruded central disc material is surgically removed, relieving pressure on the adjacent spinal cord or nerve roots. Laser Spine Institute surgeons perform this highly advanced discectomy through a small incision, resulting in minimal disruption to surrounding tissue and greatly reducing recovery time compared to open spine surgery.

By reviewing your MRI or CT scan, Laser Spine Institute can determine whether you are a candidate for this state-of-the-art discectomy surgery. We will take the following factors into account:

  • Your record of neck, back, leg or arm pain
  • Your past experiences with various treatments, including spine surgery
  • Your limitation of daily activities due to pain
  • Your other health conditions, such as degenerative disc disease or spinal arthritis

If conservative treatments haven’t successfully addressed your pain and other symptoms, you may be a candidate for an discectomy at Laser Spine Institute. We invite you to contact us for a review of your MRI or CT scan. Our minimally invasive, outpatient procedures have helped people from around the world experience relief from their neck and back pain.