Understanding Your Herniated Disc Procedure

A herniated disc procedure is performed to treat patients who are experiencing pain, muscle weakness and other common disc herniation symptoms. Pain from a herniated disc may be caused by inflammatory compounds inside the disc squeezing through a disc tear and touching nerves in the disc’s outer wall. Pain, numbness, tingling and muscle weakness in the extremities can be caused when disc fluid and/or disc tissue compresses the spinal cord or a nerve root. Surgical candidates have often exhausted all forms of conservative treatments (pain medication, physical therapy, etc.) yet remain debilitated by their symptoms.

Herniated disc procedure options

There are several types of procedures to treat a herniated disc. A surgeon may recommend one surgery over another, based on a patient’s circumstances and needs. Two common procedures include:

  • Discectomy – a procedure that removes all or part of a herniated disc, which, in turn, can relieve pressure on a pinched nerve root or the spinal cord. During the procedure, a spinal fusion may be necessary to stabilize the spine.
  • Laminotomy – a procedure that partially removes laminae (thin plates of bone that form a protective arch around the spinal cord) to enlarge the spinal canal and relieve nerve compression.

Open spine versus minimally invasive procedures

Sometimes, the surgeries listed above are performed as open spine procedures, which involve a large incision in the neck or back, muscle disruption and the removal of a sizeable portion of spinal anatomy. As a result, the recovery period can be quite lengthy and arduous for a patient who chooses to undergo an open spine surgery.

A minimally invasive herniated disc procedure, on the other hand, requires only a small incision in the neck or back into which a series of tubes is inserted to push aside muscle and other soft tissues. A camera, tiny surgical tools and a laser are funneled through the tubes to access the herniated disc. The herniated material is then vaporized to relieve nerve compression. Small fragments of bone also may be removed to decompress nerves.

More about the herniated disc procedure

An individual interested in finding out whether he or she is a candidate for a minimally invasive herniated disc procedure should call or visit Laser Spine Institute. We are the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, and our orthopedic surgeons have performed tens of thousands of procedures to treat herniated discs, bulging discs and other spinal conditions. To schedule your initial consultation, contact Laser Spine Institute today.

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