A discectomy is a surgical procedure performed to remove a degenerated, herniated, or ruptured spinal disc. Located between each vertebrae, a spinal disc acts as a cushion and shock absorbed to protect the spine. When a disc becomes herniated, it presses against the spinal cord and/or nerves causing severe pain.
Before deciding on surgical intervention, our medical team will introduce less invasive treatment options to avoid the potential risks of surgery. At American Spine, our staff are experts in spine care and have a number of various treatment options for spine conditions.
There are multiple types of discectomy surgeries. They include:
- Cervical discectomy- The removal of a disc in the cervical spine (neck area)
- Lumbar discectomy- The removal of a disc in the lumbar spine (lower back)
- Sacral discectomy- The removal of a disc in the sacral spine (pelvic or hip bone area)
- Thoracic discectomy- The removal of a disc in the thoracic spine (middle back area)
There are other surgical options as alternative to a discectomy procedure. These are:
- Foraminotomy- Used to widen the foramina (where the nerve roots leave the spinal canal) to alleviate pressure on the spinal nerves
- Laminectomy- The removal of the lamina (back part of the vertebrae) to relieve pressure on spinal nerves
- Spinal fusion- The construction of two vertebrae together to stop movement between the vertebrae
When a degenerated, herniated, or ruptured disc(s) cannot be treated with conventional treatments, your doctor may recommend a discectomy. People who typically undergo this surgery have:
- Back and/or leg pain
- Weakness/numbness in the back and legs
- Problems walking
- Uncontrollable bowels
Advances in minimally invasive techniques have improved the efficacy of this procedure. A microdiscectomy involves small instruments inserted through a tiny incision. This type of discectomy has a lower risk of complications and does not require a long hospital stay after the procedure.
For more information on the types of spine surgeries, both minimally invasive and traditional, provided by American Spine, contact a medical staff member today!
At American Spine, we are dedicated to treating chronic pain and spine conditions. Offering the latest in minimally invasive spine surgery and other effective treatment options, American Spine is the leading pain physician group of California. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at (951)-734-PAIN (7246)
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.