Slipped disc surgery – options for discectomy

Patients with a slipped disc can experience debilitating pain from the area of the affected disc and throughout the lower or upper body. If left untreated, symptoms can worsen, so slipped disc surgery can become crucial to preventing a decline in your quality of life if other options have been ineffective. Surgery to treat a slipped disc offers relief by taking pressure off the spinal cord or a nerve root that has been compressed by displaced disc material.

Slipped disc is a popular term describing a disc where the inner material has pushed out into the spinal column, and is more accurately called a herniated or ruptured disc. Conservative treatments, such as medication and physical therapy, are usually the first attempt at relief but surgery may become an option if weeks and months of these treatments don’t relieve symptoms. A discectomy — or the removal of part or all of a spinal disc — is a common slipped disc surgery, but there are two different approaches to this procedure.

Open spine discectomy

Traditional open spine discectomy is a highly invasive form of slipped disc surgery. The operation involves a large incision and the detachment or disruption of underlying muscles and other soft tissues to give access to the slipped disc. Some or all of the damaged disc is removed, which may compromise spinal stability. In some cases, a spinal fusion procedure may be performed to address the instability. This involves bone grafts or support cages, screws and rods to permanently affix the two adjacent vertebrae. Undergoing a traditional open spine discectomy can make for a difficult and lengthy recovery and may lead to additional surgeries in the future.

The minimally invasive alternative

Laser Spine Institute offers a minimally invasive discectomy, which is a safer and effective alternative^ to traditional open back surgery. The surgery is performed through a small incision, which is made in the neck or back to gain access to the spine, sparing the muscles and other soft tissue from being cut or torn. Using state-of-the-art technology such as fiber-optic devices, surgeons can remove the portion of the disc that is pressing on the nerve root or spinal cord.

In some cases, a minimally invasive stabilization procedure is required for complete removal of a more severely damaged disc, along with the insertion of an implant and other measures to stabilize the spine.

Advantages of Laser Spine Institute’s minimally invasive spine surgery:

  • No lengthy recovery^
  • Muscle-sparing techniques
  • Board-certified surgeons+
  • Less than 1-inch incision
  • Outpatient procedure

Laser Spine Institute has helped more than 75,000 patients since 2005. Contact our team today for a no-cost MRI review* to find out if you may be a candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures.