Discectomy in Northern New Jersey
or patients with nerve pain, radiculopathy, or sciatica, a herniated or slipped disc that’s putting pressure on the nerve may be the cause. To alleviate this type of injury or condition, a discectomy might be recommended as the ideal course of action. There are two approaches to discectomy procedures, and the right approach can only be determined by medical experts, such as the ones at Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics.
Providing state-of-the-art care to patients across Northern New Jersey, Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics offers comprehensive treatments for several spinal conditions to help relieve pain and improve quality of life. Learn more about discectomy procedures and when to seek an opinion from the surgical team at Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics.
CNSO explores several methods before recommending surgery to ensure positive patient outcomes. The goal of this treatment is to decrease the pain and inflammation caused by the slipped or herniated disc. Doing so may improve mobility and relieve the discomfort associated with this condition.
A doctor may suggest discectomy if:
- Symptoms are severe enough to impact daily activities and overall ability
- Significant muscle weakness and loss of bodily function are present
- Pain in the arm or leg hasn’t improved through targeted therapies
Being approved for surgery only comes after surgeons have performed a thorough history and physical examination, review of all the past diagnostic testing, as well as accounted for factors including:
- Physique or build
- Anatomy of the spine
- Location of the problematic disc(s)
- Current medications
- Previous treatments attempted
- History of prior spinal surgery
- Other medical conditions or comorbidities
Approaches to the Discectomy
At Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics, the board-certified surgeons are well-versed in the most advanced spinal care and vastly experienced in discectomy procedures. During a partial discectomy, the offending herniated disc fragment is removed while leaving the remaining intervertebral disc intact. This releases pressure on the nerve, allowing the nerve to heal which will thereby cause the symptoms to resolve. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and if only one disc is being treated, the procedure will be completed within two hours.
A discectomy can be done in two different ways. These approaches include:
Minimally Invasive Microdiscectomy
This is the most common form of treatment for a simple one level herniated disc. With the goal of an incision no longer than two centimeters, surgeons typically wear glasses with microscope attachments to ensure visual accuracy. Dilators are used to keep muscles away from the operation site while maintaining very little tension on the surrounding muscle tissue and skin.
During surgery, a fluoroscope is utilized to provide a detailed and clear view of the spine anatomy. The lens of this radiographic real-time mobile imaging machine is brought in over the surgical field. Its image is transmitted to a high-definition monitor, allowing the surgeons to confirm their location of operation and the surrounding anatomy within the spine. The outcomes of successful surgery include:
- The offending portion of the slipped disc has been removed thereby alleviating the pressure on the aggravated nerves.
The patient wakes up pain free and remains free from any radicular pain.
This discectomy approach is typically reserved for patients who are diagnosed with arthritis of the spine, in addition to their disc issue. The main difference between this type of discectomy and its minimally invasive counterpart is that the incision is slightly larger. This provides the surgeon with greater accessibility to a larger disc herniation, as well as allows them more space to perform a wide-based decompression of the nerve. The goals of the surgery, however, are the same as minimally invasive microdiscectomy: remove the slipped disc, take pressure off pinched nerves, and create more space between vertebrae for greater spinal stability and nerves retracting to the middle of the back.
What to Expect Before and After Surgery
Before undergoing this procedure, the CNSO experienced neurosurgeons will walk patients through every step of the process, informing them of what they will experience, the surgical process, and how to prepare for a rapid recovery. As with any type of surgery, there are potential risks and complications associated with this procedure, such as:
- An adverse reaction to anesthesia
- Damage to the surrounding tissue, such as blood vessels and nerves
- Spinal fluid leakage
All of the above are very unlikely but can be successfully treated so the overall risk is minimal. The highly trained team of medical professionals at Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics monitors patients for several hours after the procedure and via follow-up office visits throughout the first few months. Patients are provided with medication for any residual pain while the offended nerves and the surgical site heals.
Upon arriving at home, rest is required for the first 24 hours along with adequate food and fluid intake. After a day of rest, most patients can walk on flat ground, and it’s recommended that bending, twisting, and lifting be avoided for at least two weeks following surgery. A follow-up appointment will be scheduled where symptoms and a coordinating recovery program are followed.
Learn More about Discectomies
Individuals in New Jersey suffering from back pain can have relief from their symptoms through non-surgical treatment options but may possibly require surgical care. Consult the medical team at Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics to find out which treatment stage is best or whether a discectomy may be the right treatment. At CNSO, patients will have access to medical professionals from multiple specialties that work together to ensure quality care. For more information, including information about a discectomy, please contact Centers for Neurosurgery, Spine & Orthopedics today in Northern NJ to schedule an appointment.
When spinal discs become weakened they can push against the nerve or spinal cord, which causes the elastic ring to extend, thus inflicting pain.