Discectomy is the process employed to surgically remove the herniated disc in the spine. A herniated disc in your spine can be surgically repaired by performing a Discectomy on the affected area. Nearby nerves may get irritated or compressed by a herniated disc. The most effective treatment for discomfort that travels down your arms or legs is a discectomy.
For the treatment of genuine neck or back pain, the therapy is less effective. More conservative treatments, such physical therapy, provide relief for the majority of people with back or neck pain.
If conservative, nonsurgical treatments have failed or if your symptoms get worse, your doctor can recommend discectomy. A discectomy can be carried out in a number of ways. Minimally invasive discectomy, which makes only minor incisions and uses a tiny camera to view the process, is now frequently preferred by surgeons.
- A herniated disc, also known as a slid, ruptured, bulging, or prolapsed disc, puts pressure on a spinal nerve; this pressure is relieved by performing a discectomy. When the disk’s harder outer develops a crack, part of the softer inside material pushes through it to cause a herniated disc.
- The cushion between your vertebrae, known as a disc, can occasionally fall out of position, putting pressure on a spinal nerve and resulting in back discomfort. The surgeon removes all or a portion of the disc during a discectomy. They may be able to perform a microdiscectomy with a little incision instead of a large one in your back. The typical surgical method for lumbar disc herniation is microdiscectomy, which is done under an operating microscope through a smaller incision than open discectomy. A discectomy may occasionally be a component of a bigger procedure that also involves a laminectomy, foraminotomy, or spinal fusion.
- If you experience difficulty standing or walking due to nerve weakening, your doctor may advise discectomy.
- After six to 12 weeks, conservative treatment—such as physical therapy or steroid injections— it is highly likely that your symptoms will subside. However, when your chest, arms, legs, or buttocks are involved, the pain can be excruciating.
- A herniated vertebral disc is surgically removed, either in its entirety or in part, during a discectomy. To release pressure on the nerve root, the outer annulus fibrosus of the disc is first sliced, and the nucleus pulposus is then removed. The next step is a dissection to access the spinal canal and remove any bone spurs or disc debris poking through the ligament. The ligament spans from front to back.
- Since the majority of the disc is removed during this kind of surgery, there is little risk of a repeat disc herniation at the segment.
In order to release pressure on the nerve and make space for the nerve to heal, a small amount of the bone over the nerve root and some of the disc material from underneath the nerve root are removed during a microdiscectomy or microdecompression.
The conventional treatment for lumbar herniated discs is a microdiscectomy, which is more effective at reducing leg pain symptoms than low back pain.
In order to treat a herniated disc of the cervical or lumbar spine, an arthroscopic discectomy decompresses the spine. It has a high learning curve for surgeons and is less prevalent than other discectomy for decompression operations, like a microdiscectomy, while being less invasive than certain other treatments.
The discectomy operation is regarded as secure. However, problems are a possibility with any surgery, including discectomies. Complications that could arise include:
- Bleeding \ Infection.
- Spinal fluid leak.
- Injury to the spine’s surrounding blood vessels or nerves.
How to prepare for the surgery?
Prior to surgery, you’ll probably need to fast for a set period of time. Before surgery, you might need to change your dosing schedule if you use blood thinners. You’ll receive detailed instructions from your doctor.
- Discectomy is typically performed under general anaesthetic, rendering the patient unconscious. To access the herniated disc, a small portion of spinal bone and ligament may be removed.
- It is ideal to only remove the disc fragment that is pressing on the nerve, reducing pressure while leaving the majority of the disc intact.
- If the entire disc must be removed, your surgeon might need to fill the empty space with synthetic bone substitute or a piece of bone from your own pelvis or a deceased donor. After that, metal hardware is employed to fuse the adjacent vertebrae together.
- You are taken to a recovery room following surgery, where the medical staff keeps an eye out for any operation- or anesthesia-related issues. Although a brief hospital stay may be required, especially if you have any major pre-existing medical conditions, you may be in good enough health to return home the same day as your surgery.
- You might be able to go back to work in two to six weeks, depending on how much lifting, walking, and sitting your job entails. Your doctor might urge you to wait six to eight weeks before going back to work if your position requires you to perform heavy lifting or operate large machines.
- In most patients with obvious symptoms of nerve compression, such as radiating pain, a discectomy lessens the symptoms of a herniated disc. Discectomy doesn’t do anything to stop the process that caused the disc to become herniated in the first place, therefore it might not be a lasting treatment.
- Your doctor may advise weight loss, suggest a low-impact exercise regimen, and encourage you to limit some tasks that require significant or repeated bending, twisting, or lifting in order to prevent re-injuring your spine.