As we get older, it is not uncommon for many of us to start feeling some form of back pain. This becomes more obvious as we reach our forties and fifties and quite often there is the need to do something about it. After going to our local GP we will most likely be advised to try a number of non-surgical methods to try and relieve the pain. If these do not work after a six month period, it is likely that we will be referred for disc surgery.
What is Disc Surgery?
Disc surgery is an operation that aims to relieve the pain felt by patients in their back, neck or spine. The number of procedures vary depending on the level of pain felt, the area of the pain and whether the patient decides to have treatment on the NHS or in a private clinic. The basic form of disc surgery is performed to remove or move the disc that is causing a nerve to become trapped, thus causing the pain. This can be done as part of open back surgery, non-invasive surgery or now laser surgery. Most operations will be performed under a general anaesthetic and the recovery time will vary depending on the specific operation.
Costs of Disc Surgery
Most methods of disc surgery are available on the NHS and as such are free. However you will need to meet the criteria for the NHS surgery and this often means trying non-surgical methods first and then being referred by your GP. You will also be placed on a waiting list, so you may have to suffer pain for a while.
Disc surgery is also available in private clinics both in the UK and abroad. Prices vary depending on the method of disc surgery you need, your expected recovery time and the clinic you choose. Many people in the UK are now opting to travel to Europe or America for disc surgery due to the lower prices and the higher quality facilities.
What Type of Disc Surgery Do I Need?
Your GP will be the best person to tell you what type of disc surgery you need depending on where you are feeling pain. Some of the surgeries available include:
- Bulging disc surgery
- Ruptured disc surgery
- Cervical disc surgery
- Slipped disc surgery
- Artificial disc replacement surgery
- Lumbar laminectomy surgery
- Laser disc surgery
- Spinal fusion surgery
The method chosen may also depend on whether you choose to have the operation performed on the NHS or in a private clinic.
After Disc Surgery
Within a few hours of your surgery, your surgeon will expect you to get up and start walking around your ward or room. You will be advised to not lift anything heavy or do any strenuous exercises for around six weeks after surgery. Depending on your operation you can expect to be out of hospital within two to four days, as long as you have no complications. When non-surgical methods of treatment do not work, disc surgery is a very successful way of returning to your old mobility.