When Do You Need Surgery for a Herniated Lumbar Disc?

When Do You Need Surgery for a Herniated Lumbar Disc?
Dr. Dan Albright, an Orthopedic Surgeon in Raleigh, North Carolina, discusses what the terms slip disc, herniated disc and ruptured disc mean. Through the use of models he explains the function of discs in the spine and why when herniated

Dr. Dan Albright, an Orthopedic Surgeon in Raleigh, North Carolina, discusses what the terms slip disc, herniated disc and ruptured disc mean. Through the use of models he explains the function of discs in the spine and why when herniated they can cause pain.

In this video Dr. Albright explains when it may be time to consider spinal surgery to relieve pain.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Albright click here or call 919-863-6808.

Summary of video:

When do you need surgery for a ruptured disc?

The discs are like a jelly doughnut between the hard vertebrae bones – they are the shock absorbers. When a disc ruptures the “jelly” may squirt out and place pressure on a nerve. The pressure on the nerve causes pain. The terms bulging disc, protruding disc, herniated disc, slipped disc all describe the same condition.

Surgery would be recommended after the patient has tried 1-3 months of non-surgical treatments. These treatments (shots, pills, physical therapy, rest) and nothing’s worked. Everything’s failed and you still have horrible sciatica nerve pain shooting down your leg.

Surgery for a ruptured disc works very well. Science proves that surgery works for a ruptured disc causing leg pain. The surgeon goes in the back side of the spine. It is about a one inch incision and removes the disc.

The ruptured disc looks similar to crabmeat. The surgeon removes this bulging “crabmeat” off the nerve and the nerve breathes free. People wake up from surgery and the leg and buttock pain is gone.

There are no screws, no fusion. It’s outpatient surgery. The surgery takes about an hour to perform. The patient can go home two hours after surgery. There is a small risk undergoing surgery as with all surgeries, but this is a really solid operation.

A patient would be a candidate for this surgery if they have ongoing leg pain, buttock pain, sciatic pain and nothing has helped. Also, if the patient’s MRI scan shows a ruptured disc pinching a nerve.