Did you know that it’s possible for a person to develop disc herniations without any painful symptoms? The only way these people find out that they even have a herniated disc is through imaging for a different concern. But how can this happen when herniated discs are so painful for others? The answer is that the root cause of most herniated disc pain is not caused by the herniation placing physical pressure on nerves. However, the goal of herniated disc surgery is to relieve this pressure. This fails to treat the underlying cause, which is why surgery often fails to provide patients with relief.
Keep reading to learn more about what really causes herniated disc pain and why it makes herniated disc surgery ineffective for so many patients.
Disc Herniation – The Basics
What is a herniated disc? It’s a condition that occurs when the inner part of the spinal disc is pushed out of the annulus fibrosus through an annular tear. Many refer to herniated discs as “bulging discs” or “ruptured discs” but these terms are inaccurate and are not the same as a herniated disc. Disc herniation is usually an early stage of degeneration, connecting this condition to degenerative disc disease.
Unlike what most people believe, pain caused by a herniated disc is not usually caused by mechanical pressure resulting from the herniation, or a “pinched nerve”. Herniated disc pain is most commonly a result of the leaking of the nucleus pulposus, through annular tears. This is what prevents herniated disc surgery from providing pain relief.
Types of Herniated Disc Surgery
There are three common surgical techniques used to treat herniated discs:
- Open discectomy: this technique uses open surgery to remove the section of the disc that has herniated.
- Endoscopic spine surgery: this requires the use of a long thin tube, known as an endoscope, to remove the herniation. This procedure is minimally invasive.
- Surgery on the core of the spinal disc: instruments will be used to reach the core of the spinal disc, then a vacuum will be used to remove the spinal disc’s core. The hope is that this treatment will make the spinal disc smaller, relieving any pressure it may be placing on nerves. This surgery is not an option when the outer layer of the spinal disc is damaged.
The following are some of the most herniated disc surgery procedures that use these techniques.
The lamina is part of your vertebrae. Its job is to cover and protect the spinal canal, however, in some cases, it will need to be either partially or completely removed to treat a herniated disc. Laminotomy refers to the partial removal of the lamina, while laminectomy refers to the removal of the entire lamina.
To perform these procedures, a small incision is made down the center of the back or neck, depending on the location of the herniated disc. After the lamina is removed, a discectomy is performed to remove the herniation.
A spinal fusion may be performed on its own, but in some cases, it’s performed after a laminotomy or laminectomy to provide stability for the spine. This procedure involves using bone or bone-like material along with rods or screws to fuse two or more sections of vertebrae together, limiting movement.
Whether or not spinal fusion will be recommended to treat a herniated disc will depend on the location of the herniation. They’re commonly recommended for herniated discs located in the lower back.
Artificial Disc Surgery
This procedure is available as an alternative to spinal fusion for some patients. When this procedure is performed, the damaged spinal disc will be replaced with an artificial disc. This procedure is considered to have less pain following surgery as well as less restriction on mobility than spinal fusion.
Some people who develop a herniated disc will never experience any pain or symptoms as a result of it. There’s a very simple explanation for why this occurs. Herniated disc pain is almost always caused by leaking of the nucleus pulposus, so when disc herniation is not accompanied by leaking, there is no irritation or inflammation of surrounding areas. Because of this, there’s no pain.
So if annular tears are the cause of herniated disc pain, the most effective way to relieve this pain would be by addressing the tears. The problem is that most doctors believe that herniated disc pain is caused by mechanical pressure that the herniation places on nerves. Because of this, the purpose of herniated disc surgery is to release this pressure rather than seal or heal annular tears to stop painful leaking. This is why herniated disc surgery is often unsuccessful for patients living with pain.
More Effective that Herniated Disc Surgery – The Discseel® Procedure
So now we know that leaking caused by annular tears accompanying a herniation is the true cause of herniated disc pain. We also know that no surgical procedure is designed to stop this leaking or address annular tears, making it ineffective for most patients. If this isn’t enough reason to reconsider herniated disc surgery, you should also consider the long recovery period that surgery requires. This is what keeps back and neck pain sufferers from returning to work or the lifestyle they used to enjoy for an even longer period of time.
The Discseel Procedure is the answer to the problems of herniated disc surgery. It was designed to effectively heal back and neck pain caused by spinal disc conditions by directly targeting annular tears. It stops the nucleus pulposus from leaking which stops the pain caused by leaking. This procedure is also non-surgical and minimally invasive, making the recovery time significantly shorter than that of surgery. In fact, you’ll be able to go home or to your hotel the same day as your procedure. You’ll even be able to be up and walking around within 24 hours! Some patients have also been able to get back to work within a week of the procedure.
Whether your pain is caused by herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, sciatica, or chronic lower back pain, the Discseel Procedure may be able to help you. Apply for the Discseel Procedure today and find out if you’re a candidate.