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How to know if torn disc surgery is right for you and if so, which procedure to have

Most people who have torn disc surgery have spent months — if not years — before their surgery trying to manage their symptoms through conservative measures. While nonsurgical treatment can be a viable option, it’s not always successful. Medications and other conservative treatments are only intended to alleviate symptoms. Surgery, on the other hand, can remove torn disc material from or create more space within the spinal canal. This may be helpful if nonsurgical therapies do not produce the desired results.

Exploring your surgical options

There are several different types of torn disc surgery. The most common procedures include:

  • Discectomy — part or all of a spinal disc is removed
  • Laminectomy — the small nerve root openings in the spinal canal are widened
  • Foraminotomy — part of the bone that covers the spinal canal is removed

These three procedures are all considered forms of decompression surgery. In some instances, a stabilization surgery, such as an anterior cervical discectomy fusion or cervical disc replacement, may also be performed to provide more stability to the spine.

What you need to know about minimally invasive procedures

In some instances, torn disc surgery is performed as a traditional (open) operation. Other times, minimally invasive techniques are used instead.

Traditional surgery often involves a long hospital stay and lengthy recovery, as a number of muscles may be cut and there is up to a 16 percent chance of infection. In comparison, minimally invasive surgery at Laser Spine Institute has a lower surgical site infection rate of 0.55 percent and no lengthy recovery time.^ Our procedures are performed as outpatient operations and muscles are separated rather than cut.

If you’re considering torn disc surgery and would like more information before you make a decision, contact Laser Spine Institute today. We can help you determine if you’re a candidate for our minimally invasive surgery.