A herniated disc procedure is performed to treat patients suffering from 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 vs. Minimally Invasive
Sometimes, the surgeries listed above are performed as open spine procedures, which involve a large incision in the neck or back, muscle dissection, 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.
An endoscopic 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 an endoscopic herniated disc procedure should call or visit Laser Spine Institute. We are the leader in endoscopic spine surgery, and our orthopedic surgeons have performed tens of thousands of minimally invasive procedures to treat herniated discs, bulging discs, and other spinal conditions. To schedule your complimentary consultation, contact Laser Spine Institute today.