When to consider a herniated disc operation

A herniated disc operation is usually reserved for those who have exhausted other nonsurgical treatments and continue to experience significant neck pain, back pain or other related symptoms. Even still, surgical treatment is typically considered elective, and it is up to the patient to balance his or her discomfort with the limitations and potential risks associated with open spine surgery. There are also safer and effective alternatives to traditional open spine surgery, such as the minimally invasive spine surgery provided at Laser Spine Institute.^ Our team is always available to answer any questions you have — contact us today if you’d like to learn more.

What is a herniated disc?

A herniated disc is a condition that develops in the spinal column. In the spine, adjacent vertebrae are cushioned and separated by the spinal discs. Each disc is made of a gel-like inner disc material and a thick outer wall. When a tear develops in the outer layer and inner material is pushed into the spinal canal, it is diagnosed as a herniated disc.

This condition can cause painful symptoms to develop if:

  • The nerves that support the outer portion of a disc wall are irritated or damaged by inner disc material
  • The wall or inner disc material comes in contact with the spinal cord or a nerve root

Surgery for a herniated disc

The goal of a herniated disc operation is to remove the source of the patient’s pain. For instance, if disc material is irritating a spinal nerve, the portion of the disc material at fault will be removed. Or, if the disc is badly damaged, it may be removed entirely and the adjacent vertebrae fused together in a surgery known as spinal fusion. Performed as a traditional procedure, these surgeries are highly invasive and require a lengthy recovery and rehabilitation that the patient will need to go through as he or she attempts to return to full strength.

A minimally invasive alternative

For some individuals, an invasive herniated disc operation isn’t the only option for lasting pain relief. At Laser Spine Institute we offer state-of-the-art minimally invasive procedures designed to relieve discomfort without the increased risks and long recovery^ frequently associated with traditional open spine surgery. This is accomplished through the use of muscle-sparing techniques that allow for a less than 1-inch incision.

Our caring and dedicated team will be happy to help you receive a no-cost MRI or CT scan review* to help you find out if you’re a potential candidate for one of our procedures.

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