Herniated Disc Surgery Options
The spinal cord and the nerves around it are affected by a tiny fragment of the normal spinal disc which has broken off from the disc and is now pressing up against the spinal cord and/or the nerves which surround it, this is called a herniated disc.
A general anaesthetic is used when herniated disc surgery is performed to assess the damage of the herniated disc. The procedure normally takes an hour, but this will depend on the size of the patient and how badly the disc has been damaged.
Once the patient is anaethesized, a 3 cm incision is made and the muscles are slowly dissected from the bones of the spine, and the surgeon then removes a small amount of ligament and bone to open the area and see the nerves where the herniated disc is. When this is found, the sliver of disc is removed, instantly relieving the pain, the area is cleaned and further fragments might have to be removed to prevent future herniation of the disc. The wound is then stitched up and bandaged and an overnight stay in hospital is the normal procedure after this herniated disc treatment.
Once surgery is completed, the risks can sometimes be bleeding, infections and spinal fluid leak, which are able to be treated, although extra surgery and time is hospital might be needed. The surgery will take time to get over, but sometimes the relief from the removal of the herniated disc is immediate. Normally the pain dissapears slowly over several weeks. Medication is available for pain treatment and only gentle excercises are recommended like walking and sitting up. Avoid any strenous excercise especially twisting and bending until advised otherwise.
This surgery has a success rate of 85-90% and a 10-15% non success rate. Please discuss all the benefits and risks with your doctor as herniated disc surgery is not to be undertaken lightly.