As we grow older, we begin experiencing aches and pains. The back is one of the most common areas in which those age-related pains can happen, and a herniated disc in the spine may be the cause.
The spinal column is made up of bones (vertebrae) that are separated and cushioned by discs, which have a tough but flexible exterior and a gel-like interior. When the outer part of a disc wears out due to advancing age or overuse, the disc can become herniated.
A herniated disc happens when the disc ruptures, slips, or bulges. This can cause the disc to begin pressing on the spinal cord, resulting in pain. Even the soft interior can leak out and press against the spinal cord or nearby nerves.
Symptoms of a Herniated Disc
Your doctor may recommend a discectomy to remove the part of the herniated disc that is causing severe pain, problems walking or standing, or weakness in the back. Surgery is usually recommended only after other options haven’t helped relieve your pain, such as medication and physical therapy.
If you are experiencing low back pain that radiates down your leg, and if the pain is accompanied by numbness and tingling, it’s most likely due to a disc herniation. Many patients with herniated discs or degenerative disc disease (DDD) are good candidates for a discectomy if it is causing severe problems.
Why Would I Need a Discectomy?
Your doctor may recommend a discectomy if you:
- Had an MRI or CT scan that showed a herniated disc
- Were diagnosed with degenerative disc disease
- Are suffering from chronic pain, weakness, or numbness in the lower extremities
- Cannot control your bladder or bowels due to a herniation
- Have tried medication, injections, and physical therapy without success
How Back Surgery Works
A discectomy is done through a small incision made somewhere along the back. Thanks to advancements in medical technology, a discectomy may be performed using minimally invasive tools and techniques.
A minimally invasive discectomy usually causes less pain during recovery than traditional back surgery. Plus, recovery is usually faster when fewer structures need to heal.
Orthopedic Surgeons in West Jersey
When considering back surgery, be sure to choose an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in spine injuries and conditions. If you have severe back pain or a debilitating back issue, Dr. Joel Spielman will evaluate and diagnose your condition. He will assess whether you may be a good candidate for a discectomy or another treatment.
Dr. Spielman is board-certified and fellowship-trained, and he is highly experienced in performing the discectomy procedure. He will take the time to educate you and your loved ones about your condition, and he will offer only the best treatment options – recommending surgery only when other methods have proved to be ineffective.
If you would like to schedule a consultation, call us today at (973) 989-0888 or request an appointment online. Successful spine surgery can help relieve your back pain, so you can get back to enjoying life again.