Many times, patients complaining of neck, back, arm and leg pain can trace their problems to spinal disc tears, disc degeneration, bulging, or herniated discs. The tear or related compromise of the disc causes cushioning material within each disc to “leak out”. This creates pressure on the nerve root of the spine causing pain, numbness or tingling in the lower extremities.
Depending on the severity of the damage, many patients can do well with conservative treatments such as physical therapy, chiropractic treatments, acupuncture, and medications. However, some light activity is necessary to preserve muscle tone.
If pain persists, spinal epidural steroid injections may be necessary for pain relief. If clinical symptoms in a patient persist for more than eight weeks, the patient will need a surgical operation.
Once again, there are options. Traditional surgical procedures include microdiscectomy, laminectomy, total disc replacement, and spinal fusions. These traditional procedures involve a large incision, significant bone, and muscle removal, blood loss, general anesthesia, and days of hospital stays. The surgery may also need the use of hardware (spinal fusion). Postoperative recovery ranges from a few months to a year.
At Center for Regenerative Therapy and Pain Management, we employ a much less invasive procedure called endoscopic laser surgery. Disc tears can be targeted precisely with endoscopic techniques, enabling us to easily locate inflamed tissue around the tears. The inflamed tissue is removed, thus eliminating a primary pain generator.
Endoscopic laser spine surgery is a same-day procedure, under local anesthesia. Postoperative recovery is short (ranging from a few days to a few weeks).