The spinal bones (vertebrae) are separated by discs, which cushion the spine and allow movement between the vertebrae. A herniated disc, often called a slipped disc, occurs when a part of the vertebrae pushes into the adjoining disc, putting pressure on the nearby nerves and causing pain or other symptoms. Discs may move out of place (herniate) or break open (rupture) as a result of an injury or strain. This causes pressure that can lead to pain, numbness, or weakness.
Patient whose symptoms are not improved by conservative therapy may benefit from surgery. Additionally patients who experience progressive muscle weakness from a compressed nerve can get relief from surgery.
- Laminectomy removes some of the bone over the spine and the problem disc. Spinal fusion is a technique in which two vertebrae (back bones) are fused together with bone grafts or metal rods. By fusing the vertebrae, the painful motion is eliminated.
- Microdiscectomy may also be done to remove the fragments of a herniated disc through a small incision.