After surgery for a herniated disc, patients should continue to exercise with caution, as movement after this procedure may exacerbate the condition. A doctor may remove a portion of bone or ligament to access the disc, and use small surgical instruments to remove the protruding disc material. Following discectomy, the area is cleaned with sterile water and antibiotics. After the discectomy, the skin is closed with strong sutures, and the surgeon may use special surgical glue to minimize the appearance of scarring.
If you are concerned about the risks and recovery from surgery, ask your healthcare provider to perform a MRI. This test can determine the extent of the herniated disc and which surgical procedure is best for you. If you are unable to perform any activity due to the pain, you may want to request a second opinion from another doctor. Getting a second opinion does not indicate that you don’t trust your surgeon; it just means that you want to be sure. If your surgeon discourages your decision, you may not be a good fit.
If you have severe back pain or sciatica, surgery for herniated disc may be the best option. Depending on your age and previous medical history, surgery may be your best option. Common candidates for herniated disc surgery include patients with severe pain and difficulty standing or sitting. Patients should be sure to ask lots of questions so that they don’t feel overwhelmed by the decision. Some common symptoms of herniated disc include loss of bowel or bladder control, difficulty in walking, and difficulty with balance.
The surgical process for herniated discs consists of several stages. After a patient undergoes general anesthesia, a small incision is made in the low back over the herniated disc. The surgeon will then fuse the affected vertebrae together with bone graft material. This material is inserted between the vertebrae, minimizing any impact on the adjacent soft tissue. A x-ray will be taken during surgery to verify that the surgery has been performed on the appropriate disc.
Most patients experience complete recovery from herniated disc surgery after four to eight weeks. After the surgery, patients will begin gradually returning to their daily activities. Once their symptoms have subsided, they can slowly resume high-intensity activities. It is best to consult with a trusted neurosurgeon who can guide patients through the recovery process. Understanding the recovery process can help patients focus on complete recovery and achieve their prior level of functioning.
Depending on the location of the herniated disc, there are several ways to treat the condition. The most common one is surgery, which involves removing the damaged part of the disc and relieving pressure on the affected nerve. In some cases, the procedure may involve a small incision in the back of the neck, or a microdiscectomy, which uses specialized instruments to access the disc using a tiny incision.