If you’re suffering from radiating back pain or weakness related to a herniated disc, a surgical discectomy can offer relief. At One Oak Medical, orthopedic and spine surgeon Dr. Faisal Mahmood and the experienced team of specialists offer a variety of procedures to treat spinal issues, including discectomies. If nonsurgical treatments haven’t provided you with pain relief, schedule an appointment online or call One Oak Medical in Wayne, Paramus, Point Pleasant, or Middletown, New Jersey, or in Staten Island, New York.
Discectomy Q & A
What is discectomy?
A discectomy is a spinal surgery performed to resolve herniated disc pain. During this treatment, Dr. Mahmood removes portions of the disc that are affecting nerves in the area.
This treatment most effectively addresses radiating symptoms, such as numbness, pain, and weakness, as opposed to isolated pain in the back or neck. In many cases, Dr. Mahmood uses minimally invasive surgical techniques to perform discectomies, which reduces your recovery time and risk of infection.
Why is a discectomy performed?
Dr. Mahmood might recommend a discectomy when nonsurgical therapies haven’t relieved your herniated disc symptoms after six weeks.
A herniated disc is often referred to as a slipped or ruptured disc. These discs are the rubbery shock absorbers located in between the vertebrae of your spine. When the soft, jelly-like interior of your disc pushes through the outer edge, it becomes a herniated disc and may put pressure on nerves in the area.
Dr. Mahmood may suggest a discectomy if your herniated disc is causing:
- Nerve weakness that’s affecting your ability to stand or walk
- Pressure on a nerve due to portions of disc stuck in your spine
- Unmanageable pain radiating through your legs, arms, chest, or buttocks
What can I expect during a discectomy procedure?
Dr. Mahmood usually performs your discectomy while you’re under general anesthesia, which ensures that your comfort during the procedure. In most cases, he only removes the portion of your disc affecting the surrounding nerve, and the rest of the disc remains in place.
In some cases, Dr. Mahmood must remove your entire disc. When this is necessary, he replaces the space with real or synthetic bone and then fuses the neighboring vertebrae together for support.
Dr. Mahmood performs many discectomies as outpatient procedures, so you can recover comfortably at home. Your recovery time varies based on your situation and daily activities but may take from two to eight weeks. Dr. Mahmood also provides additional instructions that limit the amount of time you spend sitting, lifting, bending, or stooping during this time.
To improve your spinal health and flexibility after your discectomy, Dr. Mahmood might prescribe physical therapy.
Call One Oak Medical or schedule an appointment online to see if a discectomy can reduce your pain.