A discectomy is the surgical removal of the herniated portion of a disc that is pressing on nerve roots or on the spinal cord. It is done to reduce pain, numbness, and weakness caused by the disc herniation when it has not responded to conservative treatment.
Open Disc Surgery
Traditional open disc surgery involves making an incision in the center of the back at the same level as the herniated disc injury and then pulling the muscles away from the bones of the spinal column to view the area of the spine where the disc has herniated. The herniated portion of the disc has been removed and the muscles are put back in place before closing the incision.
Endoscopic microdiscectomy is a newer, minimally invasive procedure that uses a tiny microscope to give a better view of the disc and nerves involved. It uses a muscle-spreading instrument designed to reduce muscle damage, allowing herniated fragments to be removed while protecting the nerve roots and spinal cord. The minimally invasive procedure causes less post-surgical pain and shortens the recovery period.
Discectomy surgery usually requires an overnight hospital stay. As soon as the anesthesia wears off, you will usually be encouraged to begin to walk. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully about resuming activities, including regular walking, in the weeks following surgery to reduce scar tissue formation. Some patients can return to office work in 2-4 weeks, or to physical labor in 4-8 weeks.
If you have had a discectomy or if your doctor has recommended one because of an injury from a car accident, pedestrian accident, bicycle accident, or fall that was caused by someone else’s wrongdoing, you may have a claim to receive monetary compensation for your injury.
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