When to consider a prolapsed disc procedure

A prolapsed disc, also known as a herniated or bulging disc, can sometimes require spine surgery to effectively treat the pain and symptoms of this condition.

However, there are many treatment steps available before surgery becomes a viable option. For many patients, surgery can be avoided with several months of conservative treatment, including:

  • Pain medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Yoga and stretching
  • Cortisone injections
  • Lifestyle changes and behavior modification

Your physician can recommend treatments based on the location and severity of your prolapsed disc as well as your current lifestyle habits and medical history. These conservative treatments are often effective in relieving pain and helping you get back to an active lifestyle without having to undergo spine surgery.

What is a prolapsed disc?

A disc prolapse means that a portion of the disc has extended beyond its normal boundary and into the spinal canal. Typically, a prolapsed disc will occur after years of continual pressure from the surrounding vertebrae flatten and expand a disc in the spine — often in the neck (cervical spine) or lower back (lumbar spine) — causing it to protrude into the spinal canal.

The term “prolapsed disc” can also be used to describe a bulging disc or a herniated disc, either of which may cause spinal nerve compression that can lead to pain, tingling, numbness or muscle weakness in the extremities.

Exhaust the conservative methods

Before any spine surgery for a prolapsed disc is decided, you and your physician should exhaust all conservative treatment options over the course of several months to make sure there is no way other than surgery to find pain relief.

However, if conservative treatment methods prove ineffective over the course of several months, a prolapsed disc procedure may be recommended. The type of surgery recommended will depend on a number of factors, including:

* The location of the nerve compression within the spine * The overall health of the patient * The severity of the prolapsed disc While this type of condition can be treated with traditional open back surgery, there is a safer and effective alternative treatment that you should discuss with your physician.

The minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute offers patients a shorter recovery time^ and lower risk of complication or infection when compared to traditional open back surgery. This is because our procedures are performed through a small incision that does not disrupt the muscles surrounding the spine, unlike traditional spine surgery that requires a large incision and sometimes detaches the surrounding muscles altogether, leaving an increased risk of excessive surgical blood loss and failed back surgery syndrome.

We offer two types of minimally invasive surgery to treat a prolapsed disc. The first type, which is a decompression surgery, removes a small portion of the damaged disc that is pressing into the nerve root and causing your pain. The second type, which is a stabilization surgery, simply removes the damaged disc and replaces it with an artificial one to stabilize the spine and release pressure on the pinched nerve. Our decompression surgery is the most common of our procedures to help treat a prolapsed disc, though some patients with severe disc damage may require a stabilization surgery.

To start your journey to pain relief today, contact Laser Spine Institute for your MRI or CT scan review to determine if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery. Let us help you take the next step to reclaim your quality of life.