A discectomy is a surgical procedure that is conducted to do away with a disc that has herniated or extruded. When disc herniation occurs, a piece of the normal spinal disc gets displaced. This piece tends to exert a pressure over the spinal cord and / or the nerves encircling the spinal cord.
More often than not, the surgeon recommends a discectomy if:
This surgical procedure removes the piece of spinal disc that impinges and exerts pressure over the nerve. The conventional procedure is called an open discectomy. In an open discectomy, the surgeon will make a small incision and excise the disc, thus relieving the weight on the nerve.
What is the Recovery after a Discectomy Surgery?
The symptoms (pain, tingling, numbness, etc) will take a few weeks to resolve. It is quite common to experience pain around the incision site, but this is easily managed with pain killers. You will need to stay one day at the hospital, and will be discharged the next day. Your doctor may recommend a lumbar corset brace, since it helps relieve the pain to some extent.
You surgeon will advocate gentle, non strenuous activities after the procedure; he will encourage walking and sitting upright. You must steer clear of lifting heavy weights at all costs, and do not twist or bend the back a lot. Avoid all kinds of strenuous activity until your surgeon permits you to.
Discectomy Surgery Risks
As is the case with any kind of surgery, several complications and risks are associated with discectomy surgery as well, these include:
Nonetheless, the above risks and complications are rather rare and can be effectively handled.
Discectomy Surgery Cost
The cost of discectomy surgery varies from $15,000 (additional anesthesia fees and hospital fees) to $75,000 (in case, a spinal fusion procedure becomes essential in order to stabilize the spine). Anesthesia fees and hospital fess tend to be about $15,000.
You should also be prepared for certain supplementary expenses. Extra discectomy costs may occur if the surgeon feels you need a back brace; this will cost you upwards of $75, medication that may be a couple of hundreds of dollars, follow-up appointments and physical therapy will cost you around $1000.
A discectomy surgery isn’t usually the first preference for managing your back pain, however, when you have tried everything and are left with no alternatives, the expenses will be worth it in the long run. Find a highly skilled, proficient and reputable surgeon to carry out the surgery to be sure that it will be conducted properly. The surgery is conducted by an orthopedic surgeon. The branch of orthopedics has evolved a host of assorted sub-specialties, including back, hand, and foot surgeries. Talk to your surgeon and discuss your options, recovery and risk with him.