Herniated Disc | Surgery for Herniating Discs – Procedures & Alternatives

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Surgery for Herniating Discs – Procedures & Alternatives

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For many people who suffer from a herniated disc, the pain quickly becoms unbearable, even after trying all conventional treatments. In these cases, medical professionals often suggest surgery. This post gives an overview about common surgical procedures for herniated discs.

Although in many cases surgery can offer pain relief, not seldomly the pain comes back after some time, since surgery does usually not address the root cause of the problem. Because of this, it must be viewed as the last option.



Common Surgical Procedures

Microdiscectomy is a surgical decompression procedure that involves removing the portion of the intervertebral disc that is herniated and compressing a spinal nerve root. It is a common procedure used for the lower back and is minimally invasive.

Laminectomy consists of removing the arthritic bone spurs that are compressing the spinal nerves. Like the microdiscectomy, it is done under general anesthesia and does not take more than 90 minutes to perform.

Anterior Cervical Disentomb is the most common surgery for slipped discs. It is usually recommended for the neck and involves removing the entire disc to take the pressure off the spinal cord and nerve roots. Bone graft is placed in the disk space. A metal plate might be used if the spine needs stabilizing. It usually takes a few months for the vertebrae to completely fuse. In some cases, plates or screws may also be used to add stability to the spine.



What are Some Alternatives to Surgery?

To start with, you have to realize that the pain isn’t the main problem. It is just the symptom of the main problem, oftentimes a problem that has been existing for a pretty long time and then finally became critical enough for you to recognize it. In many cases, the original cause are months or years of tension or wrong body posture.

When you finally feel some kind of pain that is intense enough you may usually go see the doctor and get a standard diagnosis, like a pinched nerve from a bulging disc. But what this diagnosis rarely shows you is what really triggered it.

Once you realize this, you can try to find out what exactly the problem was in your particular case. Before deciding to get surgery, get educated about your condition, talk to experts, read on the internet, and experiment with different treatments.  Studies (like for instance the Spine Patient Outcome Research Trial) showed that herniated disc patients who received non-surgical treatments like education/counseling, anti-inflammatories, injections (eg, epidural steroids), active physical therapy showed similar results over the 2-year trial period to patients who underwent surgery.



Read more About Common Treatments for HD

These are some usually recommended (non-surgical) treatment methods to help patients with herniated discs.


Questions and Answers on Herniated Disc Surgery

So many of our readers and followers have gone or will go through back surgery, others are in the process to decide whether or not to do it. Still others simply would like to share their experiences and assist people who need information and help with their decision. Here are some of the discussions related to spinal disc surgery:


Filed Under Herniating Disc Information | 10 Comments

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10 Responses to “Surgery for Herniating Discs – Procedures & Alternatives”

  1. Lumbar Disc Herniation | Lumbar Disc Herniation on July 26th, 2011 10:47 am

    […] be excruciating and your body is having major neurological problems, it may be necessary to undergo surgery for herniating disc. The type of surgery is dependent on the condition of the patient and how advanced the ailment […]

  2. C6 C7 Herniation on May 22nd, 2012 8:39 am

    […] neck surgery should be the last option and should only be taken into consideration after every other treatment […]

  3. Disc Extrusion on May 25th, 2012 10:22 am

    […] may be given to the affected spot in the spine. If pain does not respond to non-invasive methods back surgery may be […]

  4. >> Herniated Disc Treatments – The 10 Most Effective Treatments for Back Pain Caused by Disc Herniation | surgical technology programs on August 7th, 2012 8:28 pm

    […] To be able to do away with the pain once and for all, you must identify the real root cause of your back problems. This main cause is not exactly the same for everybody, but you need to comprehend it in order to be able to find lasting relief and avoid herniated disc surgery. […]

  5. Donnley Tomkins on August 15th, 2012 11:33 pm

    I have a herniated disc (L5) which is causing my legs to go numb and painful. What should I do? Not a fan of injections or steroids.

  6. Donnley Tomkins on August 15th, 2012 11:34 pm

    MRI confirmed it!

  7. Renee on September 4th, 2012 4:06 pm

    I have a herniated disc on L4/L5 & L5/S1 with a tear…pain in my lower back- no support & now goes into my hips & buttocks. Does this warrant a double spine fusion? I havnt had any previous back surgery & wonder why microdisectomy or other treatments are not being suggested by the 2 neurologist/spine surgeons I have seen. My injury incurred from years of back pain & then trauma in a car accident oct 2010..I havnt been able to return to work or normal function since. I can walk but cannot exercise, stand or lift without pain. I have tried every non-surgical therapy there is & none helped, only made things worse. I want surgery, but prefer as non-invasive as possible, as long as it works long term! I have only had MRI’s & a bone scan done to determine my diagnosis. I have disc dessication but no compression. Will fusion help..is it necessary? I am booked in for surgery in Oct 2012 but will not go ahead without correct dignosis.

  8. Marilyn McDaniel on December 22nd, 2012 8:03 pm

    I have C-3-4, C4-5 coexistent small to moderate central /left paracentral disc herniation. I also have T2-3 coexistent small to moderate central/right paracentral disc herniation, with some caudal extrusion. I wanted to know if this injury can heal by physical theraphy or I need to have a surgery. I got this injury at work, doing repetitive job every single day. What do I need to do?

  9. L5 Disc Herniation | Lumbar Disc Herniation on March 27th, 2014 5:03 pm

    […] and alternative treatments and find out what works best. In some cases a herniated disc surgery might be the last resort, when everything else has […]

  10. Abdul_Sunky on September 5th, 2014 2:07 pm

    About a year ago, I had a lower back surgery and it was pretty painful before I had it. However, after I had it I felt a big sense of relief. After the surgery for about 8 months, I did not have any sexual performance problem. However, presently am experiencing erectile dysfunction. Often times, I feel heavily weak (fatigue), followed by lack of interest in sex. My worry is: Can the surgery of about a year ago be the cause of erectile dysfunction now when for about eight months after the surgery I did not have it at all, or could it be caused by something else. Also the can the fatigue am having be caused by the back surgery? I await your feedback.

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