A discectomy is a surgery done to remove a herniated disc from the spinal canal. When a disc herniation occurs, a fragment of the normal spinal disc is dislodged. This fragment may press against the spinal cord or the nerves that surround the spinal cord.
Diagnostic procedures may include the following:
Depending on the location of the herniation the following symptoms may occur:
ache in the lower back
sciatica - pain that travels through the buttocks and down a leg to the ankle or foot
pain in the front of the thigh
leg pain occurring in one leg
Pain from a herniated disc may:
may be constant or intermittent
may get worse when sneezing, coughing
may be aggravated by sitting, prolonged standing, and bending or twisting movements
may be relieved by walking, lying down, and other positions that relax the spine and decrease pressure on the damaged disc
The surgical treatment of a herniated disc is to remove the fragment of spinal disc that is causing the pressure on the nerve. The traditional surgery is called an open discectomy. In open discectomy the surgeon makes a small incision to remove the herniated disc and relieve the pressure on the nerve. The surgery may also be performed endoscopically where a small scope is inserted into the back. Using a small video camera and x-ray, the surgeon can see and remove the bone fragments.
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