Understanding your herniated disc procedure

A herniated disc procedure is performed to treat patients who are experiencing pain, muscle weakness numbness and tingling. A herniated disc develops when inflammatory compounds inside the disc squeeze through a tear and touch nerves in the disc’s outer wall. This condition becomes symptomatic when disc fluid or tissue compresses the spinal cord or a nerve root.

If you are a potential candidate for a surgical herniated disc procedure, like the ones offered at Laser Spine Institute, you have likely exhausted all forms of conservative treatments, such as pain medication, chiropractic care and physical therapy, without experiencing relief. To learn more about the minimally invasive spine surgery at our state-of-the-art facilities, read the following article.

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 specific spine care needs. Two common procedures include:

  • Discectomy. This describes a procedure that removes part or all 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. This describes 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 6- to 8-inch incision in the neck or back, muscle disruption and the removal of a sizeable portion of the spinal anatomy. As a result, the recovery period can be quite lengthy and difficult for a patient who chooses to undergo an open spine surgery.

A minimally invasive herniated disc procedure, on the other hand, requires only a less than 1-inch incision in the neck or back into which a series of tubes is inserted to push aside muscle and other soft tissues. A camera, 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

At Laser Spine Institute, we are the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, and our orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons have performed more than 75,000 patient procedures to treat herniated discs, bulging discs and other spinal conditions. Contact Laser Spine Institute today and ask for a free MRI review.*

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