Surgery for a herniated dis
Many patients consider surgery for a herniated disc because the tingling, numbness and radiating pain that accompanies a herniated disc can be so debilitating that conservative treatments prove ineffective. However, the choice to undergo a surgical procedure is a daunting prospect for many patients, particularly when it’s surgery on the spine. Read on to learn more about a herniated disc, including the advantages of choosing minimally invasive spine surgery to treat your symptoms.
What is a herniated disc?
A herniated disc is one of the spinal discs (the cartilaginous pads between each vertebra) that has torn and is leaking its gel-like inner disc material into the spinal canal. The leaking itself is not typically the cause of pain — rather, the fluid blocks neural pathways and constricts nerves. These pathways are called foramina, and there is one foramen that resides on either side of each vertebra. When these openings narrow, the spinal nerves cannot function or they can become inflamed. It is this neural pressure that triggers symptoms like pain, tingling, numbness and weakness.
Traditional herniated disc surgery
Spinal fusion, also known as spondylodesis, is a common surgery for a herniated disc. This is a surgery that limits mobility in order to try to stabilize a weakened spine. Diseased discs are removed, and then bone grafts are used to fasten two or more vertebrae together. The idea is that the vertebrae will then become one long, reinforced unit by growing together and developing into bone.
In theory, the stabilized vertebrae will not be subjected to the same daily wear as they did when they were free-moving, separate units. However, when spinal fusion is performed as a traditional open back surgery, the highly invasive nature of this surgery can result in scarring, nerve damage and a recovery period of up to a year.
Minimally invasive herniated disc procedures
If you are considering spinal fusion as a procedure for a herniated disc, Laser Spine Institute can introduce you to safer and effective alternatives to traditional open spine surgery,^ in the form of minimally invasive spine surgery. By utilizing a small incision, our minimally invasive techniques spare the muscles from being cut or torn.
At Laser Spine Institute, our procedures have a shorter recovery time as well as a reduced risk of infection and other postoperative complications compared to traditional spinal fusion.^ Laser Spine Institute has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from pain through our outpatient procedures. Call now to learn if our procedures would be effective in relieving your herniated disc.
Through a free MRI review,* we can determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our minimally invasive herniated disc procedures.