Discectomy is a surgical treatment option for some patients who have a herniated disc which is causing pain by pressing on the spinal cord or nerve root. In this procedure, some of the disc material is removed, relieving pressure and pain. Today, this surgery is minimally invasive, only requiring a small incision — hence the term microdiscectomy. Many patients can leave the hospital within 24 hours.
How Discectomy Works
Before a discectomy, anesthesia is administered, and the patient is prepared for surgery. An incision is then made above the affected disc. During the process, the surgeon may need to remove a small piece of bone from the vertebrae to properly see the disc. The surgeon will then remove the disc tissue impacting the spinal cord or nerve root before closing the incision.
After surgery, you will be given pain medication and may be told how to exercise to keep your back strong. Depending on your situation, you may need physiotherapy. You will gradually resume your daily activities as you recover. You may need to walk more than usual to prevent scar tissue from forming, but you may not be able to sit for long periods of time during recovery. Sitting will become more comfortable with time. You may be able to return to work within two to eight weeks, depending on how physically demanding your work is.
Am I a Candidate for Discectomy?
Patients are usually candidates for this surgery if they have leg pain, weakness or numbness caused by a herniated disc. Usually, patients will be encouraged to try before non-surgical options before considering microdiscectomy.
If you are curious whether discectomy will help your pain, you will want to discuss your options with a medical professional. A doctor can help you determine whether surgery will improve pain, range of motion and other symptoms. They can also tell you whether you are healthy enough to have surgery.
In some cases, discectomy is an emergency procedure. This is usually in cases where someone has cauda equina syndrome. Cauda equina syndrome is a serious condition that causes weakness in both legs and numbness in the lower region of the body. It can also cause incontinence.
How Can I Get Discectomy?
If you have pain caused by a herniated disc, it’s important to find a solution that works for you and provides you with the relief you deserve. At Alliance Orthopedics, our team of occupational therapists, acupuncturists, athletic trainers, chiropractors, physical therapists and other professionals take a personalized, multi-disciplinary and comprehensive approach to your pain. We understand pain can be exacerbated by many causes, and we seek to solve the puzzle of your pain so you can get back to your busy life. Our goal is to help you Get Better Faster.
Our team works with a variety of solutions and treatment options, including state-of-the-art technology and medical knowledge, to treat your pain. Whether you’re suffering from back, elbow, wrist, joint, neck, shoulder or other pain, make an appointment with Alliance Orthopedics today to discuss the options you have for handling your pain quickly.