If you feel shooting pains, numbness or weakness in your arms, legs or extremities, you may have a herniated disc. It can be an annoyance or it can severely limit your activities.
Why wait to treat it?
If more conservative treatments have not helped, consider a minimally invasive discectomy procedure. Simply put, it removes a small portion of the disc that is pressing against the nerves that are causing you pain.
As you may know, your spine is composed of vertebrae – bones resting on top of one another. In between each are discs. They serve as shock absorbers so bone does not touch nerve when you move.
When the disc bulges out, or deteriorates, it can put pressure on an adjacent spinal nerve. If this occurs in the neck (cervical) area, the result can be shoulder or arm pain. If it’s in the lumbar area, it can cause tingling or pain in the buttocks, leg or feet. The lumbar spine is most often affected because it bears the weight of your upper body.
In a minimally invasive discectomy, the surgeon removes only a small piece of the disc, so the integrity of your spine is not affected. During the procedure, muscles are carefully spread only as wide as necessary and tiny instruments are fed through narrow tubes – no large incisions and aggressive cutting that needs months of healing time.
The benefits are many: