Ruptured disc surgery
Ruptured disc surgery is often considered a last-resort treatment option for patients suffering from the chronic symptoms of a damaged disc in the spine.
In many cases, a ruptured disc does not require surgery. Often, these symptoms of pain and discomfort can be managed conservatively with exercise, painkillers and heat or ice packs, as well as other doctor-recommended conservative treatments. While these methods of treatment are often effective for pain relief, they may not work for everyone. Some patients may require ruptured disc surgery after several months of conservative treatment has proven ineffective.
Understanding ruptured disc surgery
A ruptured disc is a disc in the spine that has protruded beyond its normal size due to constant pressure from the surrounding vertebrae. When this happens, the damaged disc can expand into the spinal canal and place pressure on a local nerve root, causing symptoms of pain and limited mobility.
Because the nerve roots in the spinal canal are responsible for transmitting information from the brain to other areas of the body, a pinched nerve could send the pain and symptoms from the spine into the extremities, such as the closest arm or leg, hand or foot.
To relieve this pressure, ruptured disc surgery is used to remove the portion of the disc that has ruptured to free the pinched nerve in the spinal canal. There are a couple methods of doing this, so it’s important to research your surgical options thoroughly.
Choosing the right type of ruptured disc surgery
If your doctor recommended you for ruptured disc surgery, it’s important that you research all of your options before choosing to move forward with treatment.
You should know that there are two main types of ruptured disc surgery — traditional open neck or back surgery and minimally invasive spine surgery. While all methods of surgery come with some risks, minimally invasive spine surgery holds many benefits.
Minimally invasive ruptured disc surgery offers a number of advantages over traditional open back surgery, such as:
- Lower risk of complication
- Shorter recovery^
- Less risk of infection
- An outpatient procedure