Video: Benefits And Risks Of A Herniated Disc SurgerySurgery for a herniated disc can relieve the ongoing pain of a ruptured disc pressing against the spinal nerves. A discectomy (removal of the disc) can also improve complications of a herniated disc, such as z. B. Loss of bladder or bowel control, persistent muscle weakness in arms or legs, and chronic nerve pain such as sciatica. But these operations also have their risks. If you have been wondering whether you should have a herniated disc, ask your doctor these questions before making a decision.
How does an operation benefit me?
A herniated disc causes pain because it presses against the spinal nerves. Surgery to remove all or part of the disc reduces this prere on the nerves, often eliminating the pain. If the herniation is pressing on a nerve responsible for a function such as bladder control, decompression of that nerve through disc surgery can restore normal function.
However, disc surgery does not always relieve the symptoms or complications of a herniated disc. You may experience only partial relief or none at all. Your results will depend on the position of the herniated disc along the spine, the severity of the herniation and the severity of spinal nerve damage, among other factors.
Discuss your goals with your doctor to get the best results from surgery. This way, you ensure that you are both working towards the same goal.
What type of surgery is best for my herniated disc?
When it comes to herniated discs, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Your doctor will recommend specific surgical procedures based on many factors, including the exact location of the hernia, the severity of the rupture, whether you have one or more herniated discs, your overall health, and more.
To better understand what your doctor recommends, familiarize yourself with these common surgeries for a single herniated disc:
Laminectomy removes part of the bone from one or more vertebrae to gain access to the ruptured disc. Depending on the type of discectomy, this procedure may or may not be an option for you.
Spinal fusion involves placing a spacer in the area where the disc was removed. The spacer can be made from your own bone (autograft), donated bone (allograft) or artificial materials (artificial disc replacement). Each of these choices carries specific risks, such as. B. Additional pain from taking out your own bone, infections and other complications. Discuss these with your doctor and ask what steps are taken during and after surgery to reduce the risk, and treat them if they occur.
What are my personal risks from an operation?
In addition to the general risks associated with an operation, such as the risk of a heart attack, there are a number of other risks. B. of a negative reaction to general anesthesia, each person faces individual risks based on their overall health and the exact nature of the disc injury.
Discuss these common complications of disc procedures with your doctor to improve your chances of a good outcome after surgery:
Bleeding: be sure to discuss incision care with your doctor before undergoing surgery. Know when to see a doctor for excessive bleeding.
Pain: discuss pain management plan with your surgeon. Sometimes the doctor may insert anesthetics into the surgical site to keep you comfortable for several days after surgery. Pain control helps you get much-needed rest after a surgical procedure.
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