June 15, 2024

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How Does Discectomy Treat a Herniated Disc?

Percutaneous Discectomy | National Spine & Pain Centers

Do you know why you should always try as much as possible to care for yourself? Because your lifestyle and age may affect your health and increase your risk for injuries that can lead to a Roswell herniated disc. You develop a herniated disk when there is too much pressure on your disk, which forces it out of its center and through the outer lining. The resulting symptoms will be pain radiating down your feet and limiting movement. You can find relief from a herniated disk with a discectomy. Read the following discussion to know what to expect.

Why Would Your Doctor Perform a Discectomy?

Your doctor may recommend this procedure to relieve pressure from a herniated disk which occurs after the softer material pushes out through the disk’s outer lining. You will need a discectomy if you are experiencing nerve weakness that causes difficulty when walking or standing. A discectomy may also be effective if you have pain traveling to your legs and arms and into your buttocks and find it hard to manage. Your doctor recommends this procedure as a last resort if all other standard treatments, like steroid injections and physical therapy, fail to improve your symptoms.

What Should You Expect During Discectomy?

Usually, your doctor will give you specific instructions before your surgery. Instructions may include avoiding food and drink a few hours before surgery and adjusting your medications to lower the risk of complications. Your doctor will begin by administering general anesthesia so you stay asleep throughout the treatment. Next, your doctor will make incisions and remove a piece of the disk compressing your nerve. Your doctor may also need to remove small ligament and spinal bone pieces to reach the herniated disk. If your doctor removes the whole disk, you may need filling with another piece of bone, most likely from your pelvis. Lastly, your doctor will use metal instruments to fuse your vertebrae and close the incision.

What Happens After Discectomy?

You will go into a recovery room immediately after your surgery, where your doctor will closely watch for any possible complications within the first few hours. You will later go home as your doctor instructs you on what you may and may not do as you recover. Your doctor will ask you to avoid activities that require heavy lifting for up to 8 weeks. You can resume regular activities in six weeks. Although the procedure will not cure the cause of your herniated disk, you will experience relief from pain symptoms.

What Are The Risks of Discectomy?

Generally, the procedure is safe, but there comes a risk with every procedure. You may develop complications that include bleeding, infection at the incision site, leakage of spinal fluid, and injury to nearby nerves and blood vessels around your spine.

At the onset of symptoms of a herniated disk, you will receive prescriptions for medicines and steroid injections to calm your pain. However, the pain may continue and worsen with time, requiring a more invasive treatment like a discectomy. Discectomy is a minimally invasive surgery where your surgeon removes a portion of the damaged disk to relieve you. You can talk to your doctor about this procedure if you are experiencing worsening herniated disk symptoms. The results will be temporary, but you can resume regular activities without pain.