If you have endured severe or debilitating pain through several months of unsuccessful non-surgical treatments, you may be a candidate for surgery. In the case where a patient loses control of their bowel or bladder surgery for degenerative disc disease may be required immediately. If weakness or other progressive symptoms are shown, surgery may also be required immediately to decompress the nerve; this is at the discretion of the surgeon and based on the individual case. If you suffer from multi-layer disc degeneration, however, you may not be the best candidate for a degenerative disc disease operation, and we can offer you alternative options.
It is important that the decision to proceed with disc degeneration surgery not be made only by looking at imaging studies. The amount of limitation the disc degeneration is placing on one person could differ with the same amount of disc damage in another patient. In most cases, a degenerative disc disease operation is advised when quality of life is affected.
Disc degeneration surgery can be performed with either an open procedure or a minimally invasive procedure. During an open procedure, the surgeon cuts open the skin around the problem area to gain access to your spine, whereas with a minimally invasive procedure, the surgeon needs only a small incision to perform the surgery.
Open back surgery requires a long recovery and the need for a large amount of pain medications. it also requires general anesthesia and often an extended stay in the hospital. A minimally invasive endoscopic spine procedure, however, is performed in an outpatient setting using only local or intravenous anesthetic, without the need of an overnight hospital stay. A minimally invasive procedure heals quicker, has reduced risk of complications, and requires very minimal amounts of pain medication.