The vertebral space in our body is often protected and looked after by a set of small discs which plays the part of a shock absorbed during assault or traumatic situation where it minimizes the effect on the vertebral bodies. The condition disc herniation is caused when damage is experienced in these small discs. In this condition the vertebral discs mentioned before protrude or jut out of the inter-vertebral gaps. Other common names for this condition are known as ruptured disc or slip disc condition which is usually accompanied by a lot of pain. The nerves in the surrounding environment feel pressurized due to the compression resulting in shooting pain throughout the back and the neck region. Muscle weakening in the arms and the feet is common too. To contain the symptoms the last ever resort to treatment would therefore be herniated disc surgery.
Herniated Disc Surgery- Definition
In order to prevent disc herniation complication, the herniated disc surgery is one of the vital interventions that are necessary. However, the treatment or the surgery kind is quite dependant on the intensity and gravity of the symptoms and the situation. There may be some people who wouldn’t need any specific treatment at all but then there are some who may even require a surgery to eradicate the complications or the excruciating pain caused by the protruding disc.
Some types and kinds of herniated disc surgeries are:
This type surgery is called the laminectomy. In this condition a small intrusion is created just above the spinal lamina. The delicate cut must never irritate the underlying nerve roots. The gentle incision is often so miniscule that a microscope is often preferred to get the precise or accurate cut done.
The surgeon may advice to remove your lamina, either partly or absolutely and thus is called the laminectomy. The technique once again is opted for depending on the intensity of the condition provided.
The disketomy is yet another surgical intervention that goes by the name Microdiskectomy. This is one of the most common herniated disc surgery techniques.
Here in this technique, a small precise cut is made on the hind side to get easy access to the protruding disc. The surgeon goes on to remove the jutted out part of the disc that has been causing the pain and the pressure thereby relieving you off the symptom. This is one of the least invasive surgical methods to cure a herniated disc.
- Artificial Disc Surgery
Often the surgery may require you to remove the entire portion of the disc which is when the artificial disc surgery is performed. However if the patient is already suffering from bone disease like osteoporosis or arthritis, this may not be the most likely surgical option to opt for.
The surgical procedure requires an incision in the abdomen through which the ruptured or protruding disc is removed and an artificial plastic or metal disc is replaced with it. The procedure is invasive in nature and requires performance only under anesthesia. 4. Spinal Fusion
- Spinal fusion
Spinal fusion too can be an invasive type of herniated disc surgery. This procedure requires bone grafting which can either be taken from a compatible donor or can be spliced from the same body, possibly another part of it. The graft fuses the two vertebrae which hold the herniated disc together.
To know more about herniated disc surgeries, watch this video:
Herniated Disc Surgery- Post Care and Cure
Any and every type of herniated disc surgery usually comes with some added risks and side effects. Often the condition herniated disc may make way for subsidiary other complications like nerve damage or internal bleeding or infection of sorts. If the protruding disc is not replaced or removed, the complications of suffering another rupture may occur again causing degeneration of the entire disc and compelling other diseases to fall through.
If you opt for the spinal fusion surgery you may suffer a risk at stiffness which once again degenerates a permanent tissue and causes chronic damage. Taking proper care of yourself right after the surgery therefore is of immense importance:
- Post Surgery
Once you wind up the surgery intervention, the paramedics or the medical staff will immediately tend to your post anesthesia care. The first priority is to record and monitor the pulse rate and the blood pressure at periodic intervals. Once the recovery process starts, the medical attendant will prescribe you to take long deep breaths so that the oxygen quantity in your body remains adequate and not short.
- Care for Incision
Post surgery one of the most important and eminent procedure is to dress the surgical area or the incision to eradicate any possibility of contracting infection. After a two or three day period the dressing can be removed. Clean gauze after that can be used for cleansing and protection purposes. Once you hit the one or two week mark after the surgery you would be required to go visit the doctor for a follow up test.
- Take Shower with Care
Once you get over your herniated disc surgery, wait for a couple of days before you start using water on your incision. When showering, never scrub the dressed area and never run it directly under a water force. In case you experience oozing or draining in the incision area, immediately contact the doctor and refrain from showering until the doctor advices you to do so.
- Do Exercise Properly
- Post your surgery the main form of exercise to keep your joints moving is slow walking.
- Start with short but frequent walks and eventually move on to long slow paced walks which actually help in healing your surgery wound faster.
- Never put pressure on the incision or the operated disc directly and therefore long term sitting for example in a long drive or lifting heavy items or weight should be refrained from.
- Maintain a straight and fit posture whilst standing or sitting without any crouches or slouching.
- Reduce Constipation
Since the physical activities are often limited right after the surgery has been done, the lack of enough body movement may lead to a constipated situation. To mend these situation add diets that are enriched in fiber to keep your slate clean. Fluid intake more necessarily water consumption should be abundant now. Since this allows your body metabolism to flourish thereby restraining chronic constipation.
- When to Return to Work
If you job involves less moving around and more sitting you can go back to work after the first week of the herniated disc surgery. However, if your job includes physical activities, running around or strenuous situations, you may require rest for a longer time span. To get your physical activities sorted out wait for the complete recovery span.
When does herniated disc surgery require medical attention?
If any of the mentioned symptoms show up, immediately seek medical attention-
- Chronic painful sensation which remains persistent even after taking analgesics
- Severe and intense fever with sky high temperature
- Oozing or draining incision or bruises or patches in and around the incision spot