Effective Treatment For Herniated and Slipped Discs.
The intervertebral disc is the soft cushion that separates our vertebrae. Secondary to every day wear and tear or trauma the layers of the disc can tear or crack, allowing the jelly-like material in the center (the nucleus) to leak outward. This is called a herniated disc or slipped disc. A herniated disc can cause back pain, or it can compress or irritate the spinal cord and nerve roots to cause pain and numbness into the arms or legs (sciatica). Herniated discs sometimes can be treated successfully with conservative treatments, but when this fails surgery becomes necessary.
Rather than going into the hospital for an open surgery we do endoscopic discectomy which is a minimally invasive surgery where we use a small scope the size of a pen which allows us to see the herniated disc material and remove it using miniaturized surgical instruments and a laser probe. This is an outpatient surgical procedure that removes only the damaged portion of the disc, leaving the remaining healthy disc material intact. Unlike conventional spinal surgery, the incision is very small, the recovery is fast, and you can walk and go home after the procedure.
The research studies conducted on percutaneous endocsocpic discectomy have been favorable. In some studies, up to 80% of sciatica, and 90% of numbness and tingling had disappeared following the procedure.
Who should have this procedure?
We recommend this endoscopic discetomy for patients with lumbar or cervical disc herniations, tears or significant bulges. Patients experiencing radiculitis (pain and/or numbness into the extremity), radiculopathy or persistent lower back or buttock pain for more that 8-12 weeks may be a candidate for this procedure. If a patient’s condition is unresponsive to conservative treatments such as: acupuncture, chiropractic, medication or physical therapy they may benefit from this procedure.
What are the advantages of using endoscopic discectomy?
The major advantage of using endoscopic disectomy is the low risk it carries. This is an outpatient procedure that is effective in removing the damaged disc material leaving the healthy disc material intact. Unlike, major back surgery, there is no disruption of the muscles, bone, nerves or joint. Since a small probe is inserted through the muscle there is virtually no scarring in or around the nerves and the patient is usually active and waling around the next day.