What is Discectomy?
Disk removal is one of the most common types of back surgery. Diskectomy (also called discectomy) is the removal of an intervertebral disk, the flexible plate that connects any two adjacent vertebrae in the spine. Intervertebral disks act as shock absorbers, protecting the brain and spinal cord from the impact produced by the body’s movements.
Purpose of Discectomy Surgery?
Removing the invertebral disk is performed after completion of unsuccessful conservative treatment for back pain that has been present for at least six weeks. Surgery is also performed if there is pressure on the lumbosacral nerve roots that causes weakness, bowel dysfunction, or bladder dysfunction.
As a person ages, the disks between vertebrae degenerate and dry out, and tears form in the fibers holding them in place. Eventually, the disk can develop a blister-like bulge, compressing nerves in the spine and causing pain. This is called a “prolapsed” (or herniated) disk. If such a disk presses on a nerve root and causes muscle weakness, or problems with the bladder or bowel, immediate disk removal surgery may be needed.
The goal of the surgery is to relieve all pressure on nerve roots by removing the pulpy material from the disk, or the entire disk. If it is necessary to remove material from several nearby vertebrae, the spine may become unsteady. In this case, the surgeon will perform a Spinal Fusion, removing all disks between two or more vertebrae, and roughening the bones so that the vertebrae heal together. Bone strips taken from the patient’s leg or hip may be used to help hold the vertebrae together. Spinal fusion decreases pain, but decreases spinal mobility.
Description of Discectomy surgery:
The surgery is performed under general anesthesia The surgeon cuts an opening into the vertebral canal, and moves the dura and the bundle of nerves called the “cauda equina” (horse’s tail) aside, which exposes the disk. If a portion of the disk has moved out from between the vertebrae and into the nerve canal, it is simply removed. If the disk itself has become fragmented and partially displaced, or is not fragmented but bulges extensively, the surgeon removes the damaged part of the disk and the part that lies in the space between the vertebrae.
There are minimally invasive surgical techniques for disk removal, including microdiskectomy. In this procedure, the surgeon uses a magnifying instrument or special microscope to view the disk. Magnification makes it possible to remove a herniated disk with a smaller incision, causing less damage to nearby tissue. Video-assisted arthroscopic microdiskectomy has exhibited good results with less use of narcotics and a shortened period of disability. Newer forms of discectomy are still in the research stage, and are not yet widely available. These include laser discectomy and automated percutaneous discectomy.
Risks assosiated with Discectomy surger:
Discectomy and microdiscectomy are generally well-tolerated and do not commonly cause complications. However, there is a slight risk of damaging the nerve roots or spinal structures during surgery. There is also some risk of infection following surgery, which may cause further damage. An infection may require high doses of antibiotics and additional surgery to control.
All surgery involves some risk. Also, because there are risks with general anesthesia, your doctor and medical staff will carefully monitor you during your surgery and recovery.
What is the out come of Discectomy surgery:
People with prolonged symptoms that are severe enough to interfere with normal activities and work and require strong pain medications may gain significant relief from surgery. A 2001 study reports that surgery results in the greatest improvement for people with moderate or severe sciatica caused by lower (lumbar) back disc herniation. Of 402 people included in this 5-year outcome study, 70% of those who had had surgery reported improvement in their most important symptom, as compared with 56% of those who received nonsurgical treatment.2 People with milder symptoms tend to do well without surgery
Discectomy Surgery in India-Huge Cost Savings:
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