Surgery for a herniated disc

Surgery for a herniated disc is usually considered only when more conservative options do not bring pain relief and a return to your normal lifestyle. In fact, most people with herniated discs in the spine never need to consider surgery at all. A herniated disc does not necessarily cause painful symptoms, so it’s possible that some patients won’t need any treatment. But if any disc material comes into contact with nerve tissue in the spine, debilitating pain can occur.

Commonly experienced symptoms like burning pain, numbness and muscle weakness can be treated conservatively in the majority of cases. If you and your doctor are considering surgery, it is important to know the options in front of you. This knowledge can help you make a decision with the greatest chance of lasting pain relief and a high quality of life.

Types of surgery for a herniated disc

There are basically two categories of herniated disc surgery — traditional open back surgery and minimally invasive spine surgery. While the goal is the same, there are some key differences:

  • Traditional open spine surgery — This type of procedure requires large, muscle-severing incisions to gain access to the disc and remove the material compressing the nerves. This means overnight hospitalization, long recovery periods, higher risk of infection, scarring and other complications.
  • Minimally invasive procedures — This type of procedure uses advanced imaging technology so the surgeon only has to make a small, muscle-sparing incision to access and remove disc material. These techniques allow minimally invasive procedures to be performed on an outpatient basis, offering patients a shorter recovery^ and better outcomes.

The leader in minimally invasive spine surgery

To date, Laser Spine Institute has helped more than 75,000 patients get back to the life they were missing. For severe disc degeneration where a fusion procedure has been recommended, our surgeons can perform a minimally invasive stabilization, which is a safer and effective alternative to a traditional open fusion. To learn more, and for a review of your MRI or CT scan, contact Laser Spine Institute.

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