Disc herniation surgery is a procedure that is commonly done to treat severe cases of pain due to a herniated disc. In recent years, the incidence of herniated disc has increased due to poor understanding of the importance of ergonomics in professions that involve long hours in front of a computer. Coupled with old age and lack of exercise, back pain can progress relatively quickly requiring disc herniation surgery to remedy the condition effectively.
Now, it’s very important to remember that surgery isn’t always the first choice by doctors to treat disc herniation. Prior to even considering surgery, advanced diagnostic tests will need to be conducted to evaluate the extent of the injury. These often involve sophisticated imaging techniques that take a clear picture of the spine in order to check the severity of the misalignment.
If a condition is deemed too advanced for common therapy and rest methods, disc herniation surgery becomes the primary option for treatment. Here, doctors and spine surgeons will need to evaluate the specific type of procedure that will lead to the most effective cure without severely altering the biomechanical structure of the patient’s spine.
Laminectomy Disc Herniation Surgery
In laminectomy, only a small portion of the problem disc is removed to ease the pressure impinging on the affected nerves in the back area. A laminectomy is the least invasive of all the disc herniation surgery procedures because it only requires shaving of the protruding part while still leaving the whole spinal column intact. This is often used to treat spinal stenosis and spondylolisthesis among other back conditions.
Discectomy Disc Herniation Surgery
In discectomy, one or more of the herniated disc will need to be removed to relieve the pressure on the patient’s back. This type of disc herniation surgery is one of the most serious and requires tremendous planning and long recovery periods.
In many cases, lumbar spinal fusion surgery is also performed to stabilize the spine after removal of one or more herniated discs. This is done using a cement-like material that bonds the remaining discs together to restore mechanical integrity to the patient’s spine.
More recent procedures for back treatment involve replacing a removed disc altogether with a new material that has been specifically shaped to mimic the now absent vertebrae. This forgoes the need for spinal fusion because the spine remains compact and evenly spaced while still correcting the ultimate cause of the recurring back pain.
Granted, this procedure is still relatively new and requires more testing to determine which types of materials are suitable for disc substitution; still, it’s more promising given that a good percentage of spinal fusion surgery often leads to complications because of loss of spinal flexibility.
If you are suffering from back pain that is no longer responsive to physical therapy, pain relief medications and other non-invasive treatment methods, your doctor may suggest either cervical or lumbar disc herniation surgery as a treatment option, depending on where the disc herniation is located. It has its fair share of risks and complications but the progress of modern medicine has made it a far safer and highly effective option for treating serious cases of recurring back pain.
Think about it thoroughly because if it is successful, and chances are that it will be, you can finally enjoy a life free from recurring spinal pain so you can live the rest of your life without worrying about constant back problems.