Although ruptured disc surgeries are rarely required, surgery will become a treatment option for about one in twenty people. Because the end result from ruptured disc surgery is the same as a natural healing, most doctors will not recommend surgery until after 3 to 6 months of no visible improvements. Ruptured disc surgery is usually suggested before the sixth month because at this point there is a greater chance of permanent nerve damage if the ruptured disc is left untreated.
Not only are ruptured disc surgeries performed to reduce your pain level, but surgery can also allow a patient to regain more normal movement.
Ruptured disc surgery guidelines
Patients with a history of persistent leg pain, and who are experiencing weakness and a low quality of life due to daily limitation of activity may benefit from ruptured disc surgery.
If the findings of a physical examination determine that you have weakness, loss of motion, abnormal sensitivity, or a change in your reflexes you may benefit from ruptured disc surgery. The findings can be produced through the use of MRI (magnetic resonance imaging, a CT (computed tomography) scan, or a myelogram.
Ruptured disc surgeries
Laminectomy - This is a ruptured disc surgery used to remove the lamina on selected vertebrae. During the laminectomy if there is thickened tissue present in the spinal canal it may be removed as well.
Discectomy - Through this surgical procedure a ruptured disc that is placing painful pressure on a nerve root or the spinal canal can be removed. A discectomy is one of the more successful procedures for people who have tried conservative ruptured disc treatment and have not felt relief from their pain.
Laminotomy - Through the use of an arthroscopic approach a laminotomy becomes quite minimally invasive. A laminotomy is a minimally invasive ruptured disc surgery used to open the spinal canal. Because this is a minimally invasive procedure it can be performed in a surgical outpatient setting and without any need for general anesthesia.
The laminotomy is performed to take pressure off of the spinal canal for the exiting nerve roots and spinal cord. By increasing the amount of space available in the area, neural tissue is freed up releasing the affected nerve.
Laminotomy is a term derived from the Latin words Lamina - The bony plate that covers the posterior arch of the vertebra and Otomy - The act of cutting or incision.
Not only can a laminotomy be used to treat a ruptured disc, it can also be used to treat the following conditions:
- Arthritis in the spine
- Spinal stenosis
- Bone spurs
- Scar tissue formation
- Pinched nerve from compression
Ligamentum flavum can also be removed through the laminotomy procedure. This is a ligament in the spinal cord that can sometimes thicken to a point where it places too much pressure on the spinal cord which can be attributed to development of spinal stenosis. When this ligament is removed, the nerves are released with the spinal cord benefiting from the extra space.