If conservative treatments to alleviate the symptoms of a herniated disc are unsuccessful, a surgical procedure known as a “discectomy” may be recommended. When a disc becomes herniated, a portion of the disc is dislocated and may impinge upon the adjacent nerve roots or the spinal cord. This can cause pain, numbness, tingling, or muscle weakness to develop. Depending upon the location of the damage disc, symptoms can affect the neck or back and may radiate down the arms or legs.
A discectomy may be indicated in the presence of:
During a discectomy the surgeon will remove the fragment of the spinal disc that is causing pressure on the nerve. The goal in removing the impinging part of the herniated disc is to provide relief from the symptoms that have developed as well as to facilitate a restoration of function.
The doctor will discuss which type of discectomy procedure best addresses the needs of the case. In some situations additional procedures may be performed to further relieve pressure and to provide stability.