A bulging disc occurs when one of the discs that cushion the spinal bones bulges beyond its normal boundary. Not every bulging disc causes symptoms, and even when one does, the condition doesn’t always require surgery. A bulging disc has the potential to place pressure on the spinal cord, as well as the nerve roots that start in the spine and run to other areas of the body.
If any of these nerves are compressed, it can cause symptoms that travel down the pathway of an affected nerve, causing weakness, numbness, tingling and pain in the extremities. Nonsurgical treatments are typically effective in alleviating these problems, but some patients may require the surgical bulging disc procedures described below to achieve the relief that they need.
What bulging disc surgery involves
Bulging disc surgery is usually performed to remove part or all of a damaged disc. Surgeons can use a few different techniques to help alleviate symptoms, such as:
- Extracting part of a disc during a partial discectomy
- Taking out an entire disc during a total discectomy and fusing the two adjacent spinal bones together for added stability
- Taking out an entire disc during a total discectomy and replacing it with an artificial disc
Each of these procedures has unique benefits and drawbacks, so people who are interested in surgery should be sure to do their own research before consenting to a specific procedure.
One important distinction
One of the more important points for patients to understand is that there are both traditional open spine and minimally invasive techniques that can be used to perform bulging disc surgery. At USA Spine Care, we perform minimally invasive procedures that are safer and effective alternatives to open spine surgery for certain patients who have bulging discs. If you’d like to know whether you’re a candidate for one of our outpatient procedures, reach out to our team today.
USA Spine Care is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery and has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck or back pain. Our highly skilled surgeons use a small incision that is muscle sparing to remove and replace the damaged disc with an artificial disc and bone graft in order to relieve bulging disc symptoms. Contact USA Spine Care today and request a free MRI review* to learn if our outpatient procedures would be effective in relieving your chronic neck or back pain.