This surgery is performed to remove a herniated disc from the spinal canal. When a disc herniation occurs, a fragment of the normal spinal disc is dislodged, which may press against the spinal cord or the nerves that surround the spinal cord. The pressure leads to the symptoms that are characteristic of herniated discs, including numbness, tingling, electric shock pain etc.
The surgical treatment of a herniated disc is to remove the fragment of spinal disc that is causing the pressure on the nerve. This procedure is called a discectomy. The traditional surgery is called an open discectomy. An open discectomy is an operation where the surgeon uses a small incision and looks at the actual herniated disc in order to remove the disc and relieve the pressure on the nerve.
The surgery can take about an hour, depending on the extent of the disc herniation, the size of the patient, and other factors.
In order to remove the fragment of herniated disc, an incision over the center of the back. The incision is usually about 3 centimeters in length. The muscles are carefully dissected away from the bone. Using special instruments, a small amount of bone is then removed and ligament from the back of the spine. This part of the procedure is called a laminotomy.
Once this bone and ligament is removed, the spinal nerves can be protected. Once the disc herniation is found, the herniated disc fragment is removed. Depending on the appearance and the condition of the remaining disc, more disc material may be removed in hopes of avoiding another fragment of disc from herniating in the future.
The advent of new techniques has lead to latest procedures like microdiscectomy and endoscopic discectomy. A microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive disc surgery that uses specialized instruments and smaller incisions.
The endoscopic microdiscectomy is a procedure that accomplishes the same goal as a traditional open discectomy, removing the herniated disc, but uses a smaller incision. Instead of actually looking at the herniated disc fragment and removing it, a small camera is used to find the fragment and special instruments to remove it. The procedure may not require general anesthesia, and is done through a smaller incision with less tissue dissection.