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 each operation will be the first step in educating yourself about the risks and benefits of disc surgery options.

One type of spine disc surgery is a discectomy, which is aimed at the partial or total removal of a diseased intervertebral disc. The disc may have eroded to the point where the outer wall is torn open and inner disc material is extruding into the spinal canal, or the disc may be bulging, which means the outer wall has remained intact, but part of the disc is pressing outside of its normal perimeters. In either condition, if the patient can feel symptoms of tingling and numbness, it means the damaged disc is infringing on neural activity. Partial or total removal of a troublesome intervertebral disc is one of the most common disc surgeries.

Another version of back disc surgery is a spinal fusion. Spinal fusion is often done in conjunction with disc removal. Fusion involves the use of bone grafts to artificially join two vertebrae together in the hopes that the bones will naturally fuse together during the osteoblastic (bone growth) process. 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. In time, the implants used to fasten the bones may be removed.

A newcomer to disc surgery is artificial disc replacement (ADR). Disc replacement surgery involves removing a damaged disc and replacing it with a manmade (prosthetic) disc. Since this disc surgery has not been performed in the United States for very long, there is little statistical data to fall back on regarding the success and long-term effects of disc replacement.

Disc surgery options also include minimally invasive procedures. Minimally invasive technology involves the use of a long tube being inserted into a small incision. Through this tube, the surgeon can funnel surgical instruments, lights, lasers, suction, irrigation and a video camera directly to the site of damage. These procedures are minimally invasive and can be performed on an outpatient basis. Also, because minimally invasive surgery doesn’t require a large incision, there is less risk of nerve damage and muscle trauma.

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 tens of thousands of people find relief from pain. Contact us today for your MRI or CT scan review so we can help you decide if a disc procedure is right for you.