Disc surgery options
Disc surgery options can sometimes feel overwhelming. With so many choices, deciding what type of procedure is right for you can be stressful, especially when you’re also dealing with the pain of a degenerative disc condition. Understanding the details of a few of the common types of operations that are performed is a great first step in educating yourself about the risks and benefits of disc surgery options.
Types of disc surgery
One type of spine disc surgery is a traditional discectomy, which is aimed at the removal of all or part of a damaged spinal disc. The disc may have broken down to the point where the outer wall is torn open and inner disc material is pushing out into the spinal canal, which is called a herniated disc. Another condition is a bulging disc, which means the outer wall has remained intact, but part of the disc is pressing outside of its normal perimeter. Both conditions can cause painful nerve compression that can require surgical intervention if conservative treatments aren’t effective.
Another version of back disc surgery is a spinal fusion. Spinal fusion is typically done in conjunction with disc removal. Fusion involves the use of bone grafts to artificially join two vertebrae together to stabilize the region. The aim of this surgery is twofold: to strengthen the spine by joining vertebrae and to relieve pain by stabilizing damaged sections of the spine and reducing nerve compression. In time, the implants used to fasten the bones may be removed.
A newer option for disc surgery is artificial disc replacement. Disc replacement surgery involves removing a damaged disc and replacing it with a manmade prosthetic disc. Like discectomy and fusion procedures, this newer form of disc surgery can be performed both as a traditional open spine procedure, and as minimally invasive spine surgery.
Minimally invasive disc surgery
Due to advances in surgical technology and technique, disc surgery can now be performed with a less invasive approach than traditional open neck or back surgery. Minimally invasive technology involves the use of muscle-paring techniques that only require a small incision. At Laser Spine Institute our minimally invasive discectomy can be performed with a less than 1-inch incision. By using a series of dilating tubes, our board-certified surgeons+ funnel surgical instruments and direct visualization equipment directly to the damaged disc. These procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis, offering our patients less risk of complication and a shorter recovery period.
If you would like to learn more about minimally invasive disc surgery options and other minimally invasive procedures, contact Laser Spine Institute, the leader in minimally invasive procedures for the spine. Our disc relief treatments have helped more than 75,000 patients dealing with a full range of spine conditions, including degenerative disc issues.
Ask for your free MRI or CT scan review* so we can help you find out if you are a potential candidate for one of our outpatient procedures.