A Discectomy is a surgical treatment for a disc herniation. A disc herniation occurs when the jelly-like center of the disc pushes against the outer ring. If the disc is worn or injured, the jelly-like center may squeeze all the way through. A discectomy involves removing the herniated part of the disc and any fragments that are putting pressure on the spinal cord or spinal nerves. Before the disc material is removed, a small piece of bone (the lamina) from the affected vertebra may be removed. This is called a laminotomy or laminectomy. It allows the surgeon to better see the herniated disc.
Who Can Benefit from a Discectomy?
A discectomy is typically performed to alleviate pain from a herniated disc, often known as sciatica, and most commonly referred to by medical practitioners as a radiculopathy.
You and your doctor may consider surgery if you have very bad leg pain, numbness, or weakness that keeps you from being able to do your daily activities or the results of a physical exam show that you have weakness, loss of motion, or abnormal feeling that is likely to get better after surgery.
Many people are able to resume work and daily activities soon after surgery. In some cases, your doctor may suggest a rehabilitation program. If you work in an office, you may go back to work in 2 to 4 weeks. If your job requires physical labor (such as lifting or operating machinery that vibrates) you may be able to go back to work 4 to 8 weeks after surgery.
Minnesota Spinal Discectomy Surgeons
To learn more about spinal discectomy procedures and determine whether you are a candidate for this procedure, contact the Minnesota spinal surgeons at Midwest Spine & Brain Institute at 800.353.7720.