Herniated disc surgery: yes or no?
A herniated disc is an extremely unpleasant and very painful experience for those affected. Many then ask themselves how they can best get the prolapse under control again: rather with physiotherapy and painkillers or with surgery after all? We clarify.
Pain caused by a herniated disc can literally tear sufferers out of their lives. If the quality of life suffers severely despite conservative treatment, surgery may be the last resort. We reveal when which treatment method makes sense.
What exactly is a herniated disc? The intervertebral disc is the shock absorber. Spacer of the human body. Without the intervertebral discs in our body, our spine would be useless – it would be stiff and immobile. The intervertebral discs provide elasticity. The resilience of the spine.
Each of our 23 intervertebral discs consists of a rather soft gelatinous core on the inside and a harder fibrous ring on the outside. This fibrous ring is responsible for the fixation of the intervertebral disc. The intervertebral disc – like all other organs of the human body – loses elasticity and resilience with age. Due to the lack of elasticity, the outer fibrous ring becomes porous. Cracks can develop in it. This is how the gelatinous core can bulge outwards. If the gelatinous core breaks through the outer fibrous ring, the term "herniated disc" is used.
Herniated intervertebral disc: The gelatinous core emerges from the disc. (c) Fotolia / psdesign1
the herniated disc has become a widespread disease have become. In the industrialized countries, according to experts, 5 out of 1.000 people have a herniated disc.
What complaints can occur with a herniated disc?
The most common symptoms of herniated discs are very sudden back pain after a strain. Many affected persons have hardened muscles in the area of the spine. Depending on the type of herniated disc there may be more specific symptoms.
In the case of a herniated disc in the lumbar spine:
– pain radiation into the buttocks or leg – occasional tingling in the leg – possibly paralysis of the leg muscles.
In the case of a herniated disc in the Cervical spine are possible symptoms:
– Neck pain – radiation of pain into the arm, shoulders, hand or back of the head – possibly a tingling, numb or cold sensation in the arm or hand – possibly impairment of the sphincter muscles of the bladder and bowel.
Treating a herniated disc: conservative methods or surgery?
How a herniated disc is best treated depends largely on its severity. With an Mobility test, of a Computed tomography (CT) or a Magnetic resonance imaging (MRT) the degree of the herniated disc is examined.
When can a herniated disc be treated conservatively?
In most cases, a herniated disc can be treated with conservative therapy methods. These are for example Painkillers and physiotherapy. The main complications are Pain relief and the Preservation of mobility of the body in the foreground.
When does a herniated disc require surgery?
Surgery after a herniated disc is highly debated in the medical community. This also leads to the fact that very many patients are uncertain about the methods of treatment.
In most cases, the old orthodox medicine considers surgery to be the more suitable and promising method of treatment. Holistic medicine, on the other hand, prefers conservative methods of treatment. These are in addition to physiotherapy, for example, massages.
Surgical interventions in the spine are usually only performed when these conservative therapy methods show no effect.
Surgery becomes medically necessary when neurological deficits occur. These are, for example, paralysis symptoms in the feet or legs. For all other herniated discs, the following rule applies: surgery can be performed, but does not have to be.
What are the chances of recovery with and without surgery??
Studies show that people who have undergone surgery recover comparatively faster from a herniated disc and often no longer have pain. However, this improvement in health also occurs in patients who have been treated with conservative methods; physical recovery often simply takes a little longer.
The rate of complications during surgery for a herniated disc is between two and four percent. This means that it is not at above-average risk.