Endoscopic Discectomy: Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
Herniated discs are a common spine disorder, causing thousands of patients anything from slight discomfort to intense pain and limited mobility every year. As Austin’s leading orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Dryer wants all of his patients to understand the back and neck issues they may be experiencing, as well as the procedures needed to treat them.
Up and down your spine, vertebrae are separated by tissues known as discs. These vertebral discs act as cushions that can compress, expand, and flex to allow your spine to move. They are composed of a tough outer wall and a relatively soft inner nucleus. A disc’s outer wall can become damaged through incorrect lifting of heavy objects, impact injuries, and even just normal use over time. If this happens, the nucleus may be pushed outward through the herniated wall. This can cause severe pain if the nucleus protrudes against a nearby nerve root. Because these nerves carry signals all over the body it is not uncommon for someone suffering from a herniated disc to experience pain in their arms, legs, and buttocks as well as their neck and back.
Herniated discs can be treated by a procedure known as endoscopic discectomy. This technique is only slightly intrusive, allowing access to the herniated disc through a small incision in the back. A small camera called an endoscope allows the surgeon to view the portion of the disc that is compressing the nerve root, and then remove it with surgical tools. Endoscopic discectomy is a minimally invasive surgery that usually results in shorter postoperative recovery times compared with more traditional results. However, the procedure should only be performed by an experienced orthopedic specialist such as Doctor Randall F. Dryer.
If you think you might have a herniated disc, contact the spinal experts at Central Texas Spine Institute in Austin today. To learn more about endoscopic discectomy and many other orthopedic procedures, click here.