What are the surgical options after being diagnosed with a herniated disc?

If you have been diagnosed with a herniated disc and have not found lasting pain relief from conservative methods of treatments, such as pain medication, chiropractic care and physical therapy, you may be recommended to undergo surgical treatment to alleviate your pain. For many patients, the idea of neck or back surgery can be overwhelming.

Surgery is usually considered a last resort option, and the knowledge that you are now faced with this last option to find relief from your debilitating pain may be hard to handle. Though you may feel like you are being cornered into this decision, we want you to know that you still have many options about how you want to move forward with the treatment for your herniated disc.

At Laser Spine Institute, our minimally invasive surgery has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck or back pain, and we are confident that we can treat your condition and help get you back to your daily routine. As you continue to research your surgical treatment options, we encourage you to contact us for more information about your herniated disc and the treatments available to you.

Traditional open back surgery to treat a herniated disc

Traditional open back surgery is what patients commonly refer to when discussing spine surgery. The hesitancy about this surgery is that there are risks involved and a long recovery period that ranges from three to six months. Some patients even take up to one year before returning to daily activities. Patients are required to stay two to five additional days in the hospital for monitored recovery after the surgery.

During this traditional open back surgery, the surgeon will make a very large incision in the neck or back that is between 6 to 8 inches. The surrounding muscles and tissues will be cut in order to access the spine. Once the spine is accessed, the surgeon will either remove part of the herniated disc that is compressing the nerve root or all of the herniated disc if it is completely infected.

In the event that the entire herniated disc is removed, the surgeon will perform a spine fusion to stabilize the spine. This will be accomplished by placing an implant into the now-empty disc space to support and stabilize the spine. Your surgeon will have already discussed with you the type of surgery you will receive prior to your scheduled operation.

Minimally invasive surgery to treat a herniated disc

At Laser Spine Institute, we recognize the highly invasive nature of traditional open back surgery and the inconvenience of an extended recovery period. You have already lost too much of your life to chronic back pain; you shouldn’t have to suffer a long recovery period before you can get back to the activities you love. Our minimally invasive surgery is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery by carrying reduced risks of complication and infection.^

Laser Spine Institute has a patient satisfaction score of 98 and patient recommendation score of 98 out of 100, setting us apart as the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery.^ Unlike traditional open back surgery that makes a long incision in the back, our minimally invasive surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and only requires a less than 1-inch incision to access the spine. The muscles surrounding the spine are not affected during our procedure, which means that our patients experience a shorter recovery time^ than patients who undergo traditional open back surgery.

The board-certified surgeons+ at Laser Spine Institute perform either a decompression or stabilization surgery to treat a herniated disc. Our minimally invasive decompression surgery is used to treat less severe cases of herniated discs. During this procedure, the surgeon would only remove the diseased portion of the disc to free the nerve root that is causing your pain. However, if the disc is fully diseased, you may be required to undergo a minimally invasive stabilization surgery, where the surgeon would remove the entire diseased disc and insert an implant in the empty space to stabilize the spine.

For more information about the surgical treatment options available to you and to determine if you are a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery, please reach out to our dedicated team and ask for a no-cost MRI review.* Our goal is to help guide you to the best treatment so you can recapture your quality of life.

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