Herniated Disk Surgery – What You Should Know
During the treatment of a herniated disk, the patient may be advised to have surgery. This surgery can be performed either through the open technique or through the microsurgical technique. Whether you are considering surgery or have already had it, there are some things you should know before undergoing the procedure.
Open technique vs microsurgical technique
Discectomy is a surgical procedure used to treat the pain caused by herniated disc. This condition often causes pain in the back, neck, or leg. In a herniated disk, the material from a disc irritates the nerve. Surgical treatment may provide fast relief of symptoms.
The discectomy procedure can be performed in two ways. The minimally invasive technique is performed by making a small incision on the skin. The surgical procedure involves removing the damaged disc and a small amount of bone.
A standard open discectomy involves a large incision. The surgeon reaches the back of the spine and inserts microsurgical instruments through the incision. The patient is then placed in a prone position. He or she will be given general anesthesia. The procedure takes between 40 minutes and an hour and a half. The offending disc fragment is removed from the herniated disc.
The minimally invasive procedure also known as microdiscectomy is performed on an outpatient basis. The surgeon uses microsurgical instruments and a surgical microscope to remove the offending disc fragment.
MRI is the most common diagnostic imaging for disc herniation
MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, is a form of imaging that is used to detect herniated discs. Herniated discs can cause pain in the neck, back, and arm. The pain can be either sharp or dull. It may also cause numbness and tingling.
Herniated discs can also cause nerve compression, which can lead to other symptoms. In addition to pain, patients may experience loss of bladder control, bowel control, or sensation around the thighs and rectum.
Disc disease is a common cause of severe lower back pain. In some cases, infection can also occur. MRI is also useful in detecting spinal cord tumors and nerve damage.
MRI is a more accurate imaging method for diagnosing herniated discs than CT. It also has a higher sensitivity for detecting soft tissue masses near the spinal cord. This makes it the preferred imaging method for assessing potential surgical complications. It can also detect compression fractures and bone swelling.
MRI is also safer than X-ray. MRI does not use radiation. It is also less invasive than CT.
Whether the pain is caused by a herniated disc or degenerative condition, spinal fusion can help stabilize the spine and relieve pain. This will give patients the ability to return to their normal activities sooner. Typically, patients are able to go home the same day, but some may need to stay in the hospital for a few days.
The surgical technique used for spinal fusion depends on the surgeon’s preference, the patient’s health and the anatomic location of the spinal column. Minimally invasive spinal fusion uses a small incision, while traditional fusion uses a larger incision.
The procedure involves an incision made in the center of the back. An epidural catheter is inserted into the back at the end of the operation. Anesthesiologists will discuss how to control pain during the operation and after.
The procedure may also involve removal of a disc. The disk may be replaced with a synthetic bone-like material. This material will promote bone growth and speed up the process of fusion.
Avoiding long trips in the car after surgery
Whether you are going to be driving to work or taking a vacation, you will be able to avoid long trips in the car after herniated disk surgery by following your doctor’s recommendations. For the first six weeks after surgery, you should avoid sitting in the car for more than 20 to 30 minutes at a time. You should also avoid lifting heavy objects, and stay away from strenuous activities. Changing positions every thirty minutes can help ease your pain.
For example, you may be advised to sit on a low back support when you sit in the car. You can also choose an ergonomic chair to help you maintain a good posture. You should also try to avoid high heels for the first few months after surgery. You should also try to walk at least one mile each day. If you are taking a long car trip, you may also need to use a cold therapy product to reduce swelling and inflammation. You can find this product at a store, or make it at home.