Most patients who are diagnosed with herniated discs do not require surgery. Symptom relief can usually be achieved with a combination of conservative treatment methods such as over-the-counter pain medication or exercise and stretching. However, a relatively small number of patients may experience continued pain, numbness, tingling and muscle weakness that greatly reduces quality of life, and may be advised to consider undergoing surgical treatment for a herniated disc.
Open spine surgeries
Many different open spine surgeries are available to treat herniated discs, including laminectomy, discectomy and foraminectomy, among several others. These open spine surgeries typically require a large incision that often dissects musculature and other soft tissues. They also commonly entail the partial – or even complete – removal of a portion of the spinal anatomy (such as an entire intervertebral disc or major portion of a vertebra) in order to decompress a spinal nerve, nerve root or spinal cord. Patients generally require overnight hospitalization and a lengthy, arduous rehabilitation following open spine herniated disc surgery.
Minimally invasive procedures
Some patients may be candidates for a minimally invasive procedure at Laser Spine Institute. Unlike open spine surgery, these procedures:
- Require a small incision that is typically less than 1-inch long
- Are performed on an outpatient basis
- Do not entail the dissection of muscle, allowing for a shorter and less arduous recovery
Not everyone who has been advised to seek herniated disc surgery is a candidate for minimally invasive procedures, but anyone who has received a recommendation for surgery owes it to himself or herself to explore the minimally invasive option. The reduction in potential side effects and complications is significant. In some cases, the recovery period for open neck or back surgery can take many months, causing a great deal of disruption in a patient’s life. This alone is reason enough to ask about minimally invasive surgery.
If you’ve received a recommendation for herniated disc surgery and would like to learn more about Laser Spine Institute’s state-of-the-art procedures, contact us and schedule an initial consultation. We’ll review your MRI or CT scan to determine if you’re a candidate for a minimally invasive herniated disc surgery.