Slipped disc symptoms are often treatable with conservative therapy, so slipped disc surgery is only recommended for the small minority of people who have tried conventional treatments but still experience severe and debilitating symptoms. The purpose of slipped disc surgery is to remove any bone or disc matter causing pressure on the spinal cord and nerve endings. These operations are often referred to as decompression surgery. A few decompression surgeries used to treat a slipped disc, also called a herniated disc, include discectomy, laminectomy, and laminotomy:
- Discectomy is the removal of the damaged intervertebral disc to relieve pressure from a neighboring nerve root or the spinal cord.
- Laminectomy is the removal of the lamina, a portion of the vertebra. The lamina is removed in an attempt to open up space in the spinal canal and release trapped nerves.
- Laminotomy is the removal of a portion – but not all – of the lamina.
Traditional back surgery is performed in a hospital environment using general anesthesia. The surgeon makes a large incision, around five to six inches in length, and moves the back muscles away from the spine to gain access to the slipped disc. Recovery can take months and can be quite painful, during which time prescription pain medication may be required.
Depending on the stability of your spine after slipped disc surgery, a spinal fusion may be necessary. A fusion involves using a bone graft and hardware such as wires and screws to permanently connect two or more vertebrae. This limits mobility in the spine and can place added stress on the surrounding vertebrae.
If you’ve considered slipped disc surgery, there is an alternative to traditional open back procedures. Laser Spine Institute (LSI) offers revolutionary, minimally invasive, laser-assisted procedures that are performed in an outpatient setting using only local anesthesia with deep IV sedation. Our procedures have been very successful in treating slipped or herniated discs, spinal stenosis, bone spurs, and many other spinal conditions. To learn more about our innovative procedures, contact LSI today. We can review your MRI or CT scan at no charge to you.