Operation for a bulging disc

A bulging disc operation is a procedure that takes pressure off the spinal nerves caused by a disc that is extending out into the spinal canal. Because the nerves in the spine deliver sensation to the rest of the body, any stress on those nerves can cause symptoms in the spine as well as the hands, shoulders, arms, legs or feet. Those symptoms include pain, tingling, numbness and weakness. If they become so severe that your quality of life is comprised, and your condition does not respond to the conservative options described below, a bulging disc operation may be an option worth exploring.

Conservative options to treat a bulging disc

Since a bulging disc operation involves some risks, doctors generally suggest that you try more conservative treatments first. These options can include rest, low-impact exercise, physical therapy, hot and cold compresses, over-the-counter pain medications, anti-inflammatories and epidural cortisone injections.

Alternative therapies for bulging disc, such as acupuncture or chiropractic treatment, are also sometimes suggested prior to surgery. During an acupuncture treatment, an acupuncturist inserts long and thin needles into certain locations in the body to improve energy flow and reduce symptoms. Chiropractic care involves realigning the vertebrae in the back to reduce pressure on the bulging disc.

Surgical options to treat a bulging disc

If you have exhausted your conservative and alternative treatment options, but still experience severe pain, your doctor may suggest a bulging disc operation, one of which is called a discectomy. In a traditional open spine surgery, a surgeon will completely or partially remove the disc that is putting pressure on the spinal nerves. This highly invasive procedure includes large 6- to 8-inch incisions, scar tissue, an increased risk of infection and a lengthy recovery period of six months to a year.

You do have other surgical options, however. At Laser Spine Institute, we offer a safer and effective alternative^ to traditional open spine surgery in the form of minimally invasive spine surgery. Our board-certified+ surgeons perform a minimally invasive discectomy that can treat your bulging disc pain on an outpatient basis. In this decompression procedure, the portion of the bulging disc pressing on a nerve root or the spinal cord is removed with a small muscle-sparing incision.

Contact us for more information about the minimally invasive procedures we offer for a bulging disc. As the leader in minimally invasive spines surgery, our dedicated team has performed more than 100,000 patient procedures since 2005 and we are confident that we can help you get started on your road to recovery.

Through a free MRI review,* we can determine if you are a potential candidate for our outpatient surgery.