Minimally invasive decompression surgery for an annular tear

If you are considering decompression surgery for an annular tear on a spinal disc, the team at Laser Spine Institute may be able to help. As the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, we are pleased to offer a range of outpatient procedures that offer lasting relief from symptoms of this condition. This approach is an alternative to traditional open spine surgery and the large incision and hospitalization these procedures entail.

Overview of an annular tear

An annular tear is a small rupture that has developed on the outer wall of a spinal disc. This tear can cause localized pain in the disc and can also allow inner disc material to be pushed into the spinal canal. If this displaced material compresses a nearby spinal nerve, it may cause symptoms such as radiating pain along the length of the affected nerve, numbness or tingling and muscle weakness in the upper or lower extremities. These symptoms can have a severe effect on your life, taking you away from family, work and a good night’s sleep.

Many patients are able to find relief from these symptoms with conservative methods as recommended by their doctor. This can include over-the-counter pain medication, rest and physical therapy. A referral to a specialist for a surgical consultation may happen if symptoms do not improve, or worsen, after exhausting conservative options.

Laser Spine Institute’s treatment options

Before consenting to a highly invasive, traditional open spine procedure, consider minimally invasive decompression surgery for an annular tear. At Laser Spine Institute, we offer three primary minimally invasive decompression procedures:

  • Foraminotomy. This procedure is designed to relieve pressure on the nerves in the intervertebral foramen, which are the passages between the vertebrae where nerves enter and exit the spinal column.
  • Laminotomy. This procedure involves removal of a portion of the lamina, which is a flat piece of bone on each vertebra that forms part of the spinal canal. This technique can relieve pressure on the spinal cord.
  • Discectomy. This procedure is used to remove the portion of the extruded disc material that is causing the nerve compression.

Additionally, we specialize in facet thermal ablation, a procedure that is designed to relieve nerve pain that develops as a result of arthritic deterioration in the vertebral facet joints by carefully deadening the nerve ending in the joint.

To learn more about the minimally invasive decompression surgeries we offer for patients with an annular tear, contact Laser Spine Institute today. We offer a no-cost MRI review* to help you find out if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures.