Minimally Invasive Disc Surgery

Minimally Invasive Disc Surgery

Your spinal column, more commonly called your spine, is made up of exactly 33 bones called vertebrae.  Along these bones, through a hole in each one, runs your spinal cord.  In between each of the 33 vertebrae are pieces of cartilage called invertebral discs that stop your vertebrae from running or knocking together and act as a shock absorber for your body.

The spine is what gives us the ability to move around and bend forward and backwards and twist from side to side. It also does the very important job of protecting the spinal cord that is responsible from relaying messages from the brain to the rest of the central nervous system, in turn allowing us to bend or flex our muscles at will. Sometimes the discs between our vertebrae can suffer from various conditions that might need surgery. By using modern techniques, you can opt to undergo minimally invasive disc surgery.

What is Minimally Invasive Disc Surgery?

The primary reason for needing minimally invasive disc surgery is because of the discs between each spinal vertebra becoming worn, bulged or slipping or herniated. Bulging discs can be caused by the hard exterior of these discs becoming stretched or even rupture. Because of advances in surgical procedures it is sometimes possible to do this surgery laporoscopically or endoscopically, largely reducing the time needed for the operation site to heal and reducing the cost of the operation dramatically due to the shortened hospital stay. In many cases, patients will be operated on as outpatients and will be sent home with nothing more than a small bandage covering the operation site.

Minimally Invasive Disc Surgery Procedure

When a minimally invasive disc surgery is performed a small incision, usually not more than an inch long, is made and a small tunnel through the back muscles is made to the site of the herniated disc. The major advantage of this method is that the muscles are pushed away to make way for a small 1.6cm tunnel to be inserted down to the disc instead of having to separate the muscles from the bone. From here, the actual surgical procedure is performed. The patient will be under general anaesthesia for the duration of the operation. Following the operation, the surgeon will strongly recommend the patient not do any heavy lifting, extreme bending or twisting for about 4 to 6 weeks to allow time for the operation site to heal properly.

Costs of Minimally Invasive Disc Surgery

The minimally invasive disc surgery is fully supported by the NHS which makes it very accessible to anyone that requires this type of surgery. If you have any symptoms of disc problems, consult your doctor as soon as you can because the quicker this operation is performed, the less chance of severe damage you have. If you don’t qualify for the NHS operation, you will need to consult a surgeon for an approximate cost of the operation which is usually much cheaper than the open discectomy method of disc repair.

Minimally invasive disc surgery is a quick, largely pain free operation requiring a minimal amount of recovery time. Most patients are back at work just 3 days following a minimally invasive disc surgery operation.