Repairing Discs and Relieving Pain
When the discs between each of the vertebrate in your spine get injured, or degenerate over time, the result is often chronic and sometimes excruciating pain in your back. Spinal discs are meant to be fluid and flexible, helping your spine bend and twist as needed during daily activities, with a gelatin-like substance inside the discs surrounded by a strong outer membrane that can absorb shock and pressure, helping you do everything from lifting your children to high-impact aerobics.
The most common causes of spinal disc pain are aging (often called disc degenerative disease), and injury. Discs can slip out of place, or the outer membrane can get damaged, allowing the fluid inside the disc to leak and put pressure on the nerves in the spinal column (often called a herniated disc). Discs are most likely to herniate either in the cervical spine near the neck, or the lumbar spine in the lower back.
Patients who experience the symptoms of a herniated disc should speak with a physician about whether herniated disc surgery would be beneficial. These symptoms include:
- Pain in the lower back or neck area, especially if it prevents you from performing daily activities.
- Numbness, pain, and tingling that radiates from the spine into the legs, feet, shoulders, arms, and hands.
- Pressure and pain around the sciatic nerve, often called sciatica.
How is the Surgery Performed?
The purpose of a spinal discectomy is to remove discs, bone fragments, and other tissues or fluids that are putting pressure on the nerves. Left untreated, that kind of pressure can cause extensive and even permanent damage. The type of discectomy performed depends on the area of the spine that requires treatment.
- Cervical discectomy – repairs damaged or injured discs in the neck.
- Lumbar discectomy – repairs damaged or injured discs in the lower back.
With both procedures, the surgeon makes a small incision in the area of the back or neck, through which they can remove any bone fragments, discs, or other things that have collected in the area and are causing pain or discomfort as the vertebrate rub against each other. At miVIP Surgery Centers, both the cervical and lumbar discectomies are outpatient procedures.
The Surgeons at miVIP
Surgeons at miVIP Surgery Centers use the latest technology to perform procedures that relieve back pain from herniated discs. Our surgeons partner with the leading experts in the field of spinal surgery, including Israel Chambi, MD, FACS. Our focus is on providing the highest quality procedures from expertly trained surgeons for better outcomes.
What to Expect After Spinal Discectomy
Patients who undergo a discectomy should expect to have some pain and discomfort following surgery, and may need to wear a back brace to help with this pain. Traditional procedures require that patients wear the brace for as long as several months after surgery, but with the minimally invasive techniques at miVIP Surgery Centers, patients can often remove the brace after just a couple of weeks post-surgery.
Total recovery for the surgery is approximately 4-6 weeks, although it may take longer in situations where there was extensive nerve damage that must heal. One of the benefits of a minimally invasive procedure is that you will not need to wear a special collar, which is usually required after this type of surgery.
Herniated disc surgery carries the same risks as any surgery, including bleeding and infection. Because the surgeon is working in the proximity of a vast collection of nerves that run through the spinal column, these surgeries also carry a risk of nerve damage, although it is very rare. All patients should discuss risks and benefits with the surgeon to make sure a discectomy is the right decision.
Cost of the Procedure
The cost of minimally invasive surgery at miVIP Surgery Centers varies depending on the procedure that is performed, and patients should meet with the surgeon to discuss the costs and procedures. Individuals with insurance should contact their provider in advance to determine whether it is covered under their policy. Patients are responsible for all co-pays, co-insurance, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs related to the surgery.
Prognosis Following a Discectomy
The goal of a cervical or lumbar discectomy is to decrease pain and give you the ability to return to normal daily activities. While it may not work for everyone, in most cases it is an effective method for significantly reducing pain related to herniated discs in the cervical or lumbar spine.
To find out more about discectomies, and determine whether it could be a good option for you, call miVIP Surgery Centers at 855-496-4847.