In this article, we'll take a high-level look at the types of treatments available for patients suffering from disc herniations. The headline is this: many patients do not need surgery. There are many conservative (meaning less invasive) ways to treat herniated discs that often work wonderfully. So let’s take a look starting with the least invasive options.
Depending on the severity of your disc herniation, your doctor may advise some of the least invasive options such as physical therapy or chiropractic care. The next rung up would be trying some form of medication to see if that alleviates pain. Pain blocks are a nice middle ground between the non/less invasive options and surgical options – and many times, pain blocks completely alleviate patients’ pain and/or immobility. Finally, if you and your doctor decide your herniated disc is severe enough or have had limited success with the less invasive options, surgery can be discussed.
There are many different paths a patient and their surgeon can pursue, all depending on the severity and location of the herniation, as well as the anatomy, age, and other attributes of the patient.
When a disc is herniated in your neck, that is called a cervical herniated disc. In the middle of your back, it’s called a thoracic herniated disc . And in the lower back, lumbar herniated disc. The location of your herniation is one of the most important factors in determining which type of surgery you have.
The three most common procedures conducted to alleviate herniated discs are as follows:
- Microdiscectomy: Surgeons remove pieces of the herniated disc to take pressure off of the affected nerves. This is usually done for less severe disc herniations.
- Artificial Disc Replacement: Surgeons completely remove the herniated disc, then replace it with a state-of-the-art biomedical device that perfectly mimics the movement of our natural discs.
- Fusion: Surgeons remove the herniated disc, then fuse the vertebrae on either side of where the herniated disc was, essentially creating one longer vertebra.
Schedule a consultation with one of DISC's renowned spine specialists today by clicking here.
About the author
discmdgroup DISC Sports and Spine Center (DISC) is one of America’s foremost providers of minimally invasive spine procedures and advanced arthroscopic techniques. Our individually picked, highly specialized physicians apply both established and innovative solutions to diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate their patients in a one-stop, multi-disciplinary setting. With a wide range of specialists under one roof, the result is an unmatched continuity of care with more efficiency, less stress for the patient, and a zero MRSA infection rate. Read more articles by discmdgroup.