Guide to Ruptured Disc Surgery and Recovery
Your back hurts. It’s not a simple pain. It’s so excruciating that you cannot move. A life with ruptured disc can be very devastating indeed. You have tried every non-surgical approach yet nothing worked. Can surgery finally get rid of your agony?
The lower back is used each time you bend to pick up something, sit down, twist or extend your body in your attempt to reach for something. It gets used many times in a day. As a consequence of such, it gradually tears up over time and may lead to ruptured disc. Other causes of the condition are injury, aging, and diseases affecting the spine such as degenerative arthritis and bone tumor. Ruptured disc, also called herniated disc, is characterized by damage to the intervertebral discs, which are round and flat shock-absorbing ligament. These connect each vertebra of the spine. When the disc is damaged, a part or fragment of the disc is goes out into the spinal canal, pinching the spinal nerves. Normally, there is a minimal space between the spinal nerves and spinal cord. However, if the herniated disc is large enough, it may already compress the spinal nerves causing pain, numbness, weakness, and loss of control of the areas innervated by the affected nerves.
Non-surgical interventions are initially performed in cases of back problems and fortunately, most people respond well to these treatments. Non-surgical approach includes rest, cold and hot compress, massage, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory drugs. Normal recovery period is from three weeks to three months. However, if these treatments fail to alleviate the associated symptoms, then surgery may be required.
Thorough assessment is made before the surgery. The type of the surgical procedure to be performed depends on various factors including location and type of rupture, extent of the damage and compressed nerves, previous operation, general health and age of the patient, and many more. Nowadays, surgeons usually utilize the latest technology and the least invasive approach when possible. Discectomy, which involves the removal of a ruptured disc, is the most commonly performed ruptured disc surgery. A vertical incision is made on the affected part of the back, approximately 2 inches long. A small opening is made in the lamina overlying the ruptured disc. The herniated disc is exposed and removed. Spinal fusion is another surgery. In this procedure, two or more bones in the spine are joined to increase stability to the fractured spine and relieve pain. Furthermore, a new approach, called disc replacement, uses artificial discs to replace the damaged and injured discs. It is a great alternative to discectomy and spinal fusion.
Recovery after the operation is usually fast. Though the compression of the nerves is already resolved, back pain may still be apparent due to surgical incision. Most often, patients are able to stand and walk the moment the anesthesia wears off or the next day after the procedure and are discharged from the hospital in 2 to 3 days. Majority of those who have undergone the procedure report relief of pain and restored sensory and motor functions.Guide to Ruptured Disc Surgery and Recovery,
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