Herniated Disc Surgery

A herniated disc is a painful condition and trying to live with the pain is difficult. The pain is caused by the compression of the spinal nerve by a herniated disc. This affects a person's movement and function basically debilitating the patient and compromising their quality of life.

What is a Herniated Disc?

The human back bone is made up of a number of vertebrae or smaller back bones. These bones are important as they support the body in an erect position and also for allow for flexibility when needed. To help pad the vertebrae and allow for the flexibility there are discs that are between the bones. These discs act as shock absorbers. With wear and tear or with sudden or chronic trauma the discs may get damaged. This may lead them to eventually bulge or break and spill their contents into the spinal column. Once in the column the protruding disc puts pressure onto the spinal nerve causing the associated pain.

Conservative Treatments

Most doctors initially recommend rest with prescribed medication to help alleviate the pain caused by the compressed nerve. Rest helps take the pressure caused by the hernia on the spinal nerve. The medications prescribed are usually pain killers and anti-inflammatory agents. If rest and medications do not work a doctor may recommend physical therapy. Herniated disc surgery is normally the last resort as a treatment therapy for a herniated disc.

When is Herniated Disc Surgery Recommended?

Surgery is performed on the people who are unable to resolve the pain associated with a herniated disc conservatively. Surgery can then be used to help return some normalness to movement and can also help reduce the pain caused by the herniated disc. Surgery being an invasive procedure is careful considered and used only in those cases where,

* the pain isn't resolved with rest or physical therapy,
* there is loss of motion due to the compressed nerve, and
* sensitivity in the legs is no longer normal.

The physical observations related to a herniated disc are usually confirmed through diagnostic testing such as MRI's, CT Scans or myelograms.

What Factors Impact the Decision to Have Herniated Disc Surgery?

A doctor will take into consideration the patient's age. Older patients are at higher risk for the surgery to fail and may not benefit from the surgery. This is especially true for patients whose spines are affected with other diseases. Other factors taken into consideration before herniated disc surgery are the patients overall health and the severity of their symptoms.

Herniated Disc Surgery is not for all Back Aches

Doctors perform the surgery when they are sure that the surgery will help relieve the pain associated with a herniated disc. If a patient's only symptoms are back pain then a doctor will not recommend a herniated disc surgery.

Success Rates of Herniated Surgery

In half the cases of patients undergoing herniated disc surgery, recover occurs within a month of the surgery, at the six month point only 4 percent of patients still experience some related pain symptoms.

Herniated disc surgery is normally regarded as the last option for people suffering from a herniated disc. 90 percent of those diagnosed with the condition have their symptoms relieved with other conservative treatment therapies.



If you're interested in more info you can read about herniated cervical disc here.