Herniated disc — types of surgical treatment options

If you have been diagnosed with a herniated disc and have not found lasting pain relief from conservative methods of treatment, you may be recommended to undergo surgical treatment to alleviate your pain.

For many patients, the idea of neck or back surgery can be scary and 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, we offer a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck or open back surgery. 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 activities and hobbies. As you continue to research your surgical treatment options, we encourage you to reach out to our Care Team 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, like every surgery, there are risks involved and a long recovery period. Patients are required to stay two to five additional days in the hospital for monitored recovery after the highly invasive surgery is completed.

During traditional open back surgery, the surgeon will make a very large incision in the neck or back. 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.

The standard recovery time for traditional open back surgery ranges from three to six months, with some patients taking up to one year before returning back to daily activities.

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 doing the things you love.

Our minimally invasive surgery is a safer, more effective alternative to traditional open back surgery. The minimally invasive nature and reduced risks of our surgery allows each surgery to be performed as an outpatient procedure.

Unlike traditional open back surgery that makes a long incision in the back, our minimally invasive surgery only requires a small incision of about 1 inch 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.

We offer two types of minimally invasive surgery to treat a herniated disc: decompression surgery and stabilization surgery. 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 to treat your herniated disc. During the minimally invasive stabilization surgery, the surgeon would remove the entire diseased disc and insert an implant in the empty space to stabilize the spine.

Laser Spine Institute has a patient satisfaction score of 96 and patient recommendation score of 97 out of 100.^

For more information about the surgical treatment options available to you, please contact our Care Team. Our goal is to help guide you to the best treatment so you can recapture your quality of life.

Browse Related Resources