Decompression surgery is a treatment option for a torn disc

Decompression surgery is an option that patients with a torn disc may consider if their condition does not improve with conservative treatments like rest, ice, medication and physical therapy. When a disc in the spine tears, its gelatinous inner core can be pushed out into the spinal canal. The disc material can then can press up against a nerve root or the spinal cord. As a result of the compression, patients may experience pain, tingling, numbness, weakness and other symptoms.

A decompression surgery may be recommended to remove the disc material that is affecting the nerves in order to relieve symptoms and provide lasting relief. In the past, the only way this could be accomplished was with a highly invasive open spine procedure performed in a hospital and involving a large muscle-disrupting incision. However, it is now possible to perform decompression surgery on an outpatient basis through minimally invasive spine surgery, like the procedures performed by the board-certified surgeons+ at Laser Spine Institute.

Types of decompression surgery

There are several different decompression surgeries and a surgeon will make a recommendation based on the patient’s specific condition and situation. At Laser Spine Institute, we may suggest one of the following minimally invasive decompression procedures to address a torn disc:

  • Laminotomy. In this procedure a surgeon will remove part of the lamina, which helps to form the spinal canal, to create more space and reduce pressure on compressed nerves.
  • Foraminotomy. This decompression surgery involves a surgeon widening the foramina, the passageways through which nerve roots extend out into the body, to relieve nerve compression and the associated symptoms.
  • Discectomy. During a discectomy, the surgeon will remove the torn, herniated or ruptured disc material so that it is no longer compressing the spinal cord or a nerve root.

We also offer a facet thermal ablation, where a surgeon uses a laser to deaden a nerve ending in a facet joint to relieve pain.

The advantages of decompression surgery at Laser Spine Institute

At Laser Spine Institute, we perform these procedures on an outpatient basis, allowing patients to recover from their surgery in the comfort of a hotel room or in their home. Because the procedures are minimally invasive, they are associated with lower infection and complication rates than traditional open neck or open back operations, making them an alternative for patients who require surgical torn disc treatment.^

To learn more about Laser Spine Institute’s approach to decompression surgery for a torn disc, contact us today. We can review a copy of your MRI or CT scan at no cost* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.