The spine is a complex set of bones and disks that provide stability and flexibility. The bones in the spine comprise the vertebrae. The discs are the cushions between the vertebrae. Disease or injury can cause discs to herniate (bulge out) and press against the spinal cord and nerves running along it.
When a disc herniates, the soft gel inside the disk pushes through the outer wall of the disk, resulting in severe, sometimes debilitating pain. Patients suffering from this condition are often counseled by their physicians to have a lumbar discectomy. This surgical procedure is designed to remove all or part of the protruding disk.
- After the procedure, the surgeon and recovery room nurse usually will ask the patient to get up and walk around as soon as the anesthesia wears off.
- Most patients go home the day of surgery.
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks. Patients should carefully discuss their individual medical conditions with their physician before undergoing any spinal surgery.