Treatment Options for a Herniated Disc

Dec 22, 2014 @ 12:35 PM — by Aron D Rovner, MD 
Tagged with: Herniated Disc 

New Jersey Treatment for Herniated Discs

A herniated disc, also called a slipped or ruptured disc, is a common cause of back and neck pain among adults. This problem often occurs gradually, due to age-related degeneration of vertebrae and spinal tissue, or may be the result of sudden trauma. In either instance, herniated discs can result in significant, ongoing pain, greatly limiting one’s comfort and mobility on a daily basis.

At our New Jersey clinic, we aim to provide patients with spinal care that is both effective and safe. Dr. Rovner is experienced in a number of surgical techniques for any one problem, able to offer patients a treatment plan that is most appropriate for their individual problems. For lumbar spine surgery of a herniated disc, any of the following techniques may be utilized, as deemed necessary.

What Causes a Herniated Disc?

Before administering treatment, we want our patients to understand the exact nature of their problems. Despite the various possible causes of a herniated disc and its variable severity, each instance is essentially the same: the soft jelly-like tissue between each vertebra leaks out from a crack, resulting in pressure on nearby nerves. Although many instances of slipped discs go unnoticed and therefore do not require surgery, some people experience chronic symptoms, including pain, numbness, and weakness. When these symptoms impact one’s quality of life and cannot be improved through conservative treatment methods, surgery may be the only viable option for improvement.

Surgical Treatment for Herniated Discs

When patients first complain of a herniated disc, the initial treatment recommendations are usually conservative. Specifically, patients may be prescribed muscle relaxants, corticosteroids, NSAIDS like ibuprofen, or other medications that have been shown to reduce symptoms. Patients may also be advised to exercise or undergo physical therapy. If these approaches do not result in much improvement after several weeks, surgical treatment may be the next step. Depending on the location and nature of the herniated disc, treatment options may include:

  • Endoscopic lumbar microdiscectomy: This surgery utilizes a small camera in order to minimize incision size and tissue damage. Through the aid of the endoscope, Dr. Rovner will remove part of the herniated disc and any hard fragments that have broken off from surrounding tissue. Due to the smaller incision, this technique allows for a quicker and easier recovery.
  • Laminotomy: In this procedure, part of the lamina, which is a bony protrusion from the vertebra, is removed. By removing a piece of lamina near the site of the herniated disc, pressure is removed from nearby nerves, thereby relieving pain and similar side effects.
  • Laminectomy: Like a laminotomy, this procedure seeks to relieve pressure by removing the lamina. However, instead of removing only part of it, the entire lamina is removed from the vertebra.
  • Foraminotomy: The foramen is an opening in the curvature of the vertebra. In this procedure, pieces of hard or soft tissues that are creating pressure on the spine and nerves are removed from the foramen.
  • Lumbar fusion: This treatment is often combined with a discectomy, as it serves to replace the function of the disc after it has been partially or completely removed. In a lumbar fusion, the two vertebra that were once connected by the disc are fused via a bone graft.
  • Cervical disc replacement: After removing the herniated disc and damaged tissues, it is replaced with a synthetic substitute such as the PRESTIGE® surgical disc. This replacement functions just like a natural disc, promoting a full range of motion between the adjacent vertebrae without the pain and tension of herniated tissues.

Learn More about Our Treatment Options

When it comes to spinal surgery, nothing is more important than choosing an experienced and talented doctor who understands which treatment is right for you. By visiting our office and consulting Dr. Rovner, you can learn exactly which treatment options are most appropriate for your problem, along with their associated risks and benefits. Don’t wait until your problems result in greater complications - call or email us to set up your first consultation.