Five Surgery Options for Degenerative Disc Disease

In the event that several weeks or months of conservative treatment do not provide meaningful relief for neck or back pain, degenerative disc disease surgery often becomes a patient’s next best option. The specific kind of procedure a person will have depends on several factors. This includes the location and severity of their degenerative disc disease as well as their personal preferences. Generally speaking, there are two categories of degenerative disc disease surgery — traditional open spine surgery and minimally invasive surgery. 

At BEST Health System, we specialize in minimally invasive surgical procedures. We have seen the great benefits that come with choosing this type of surgery. This includes quicker recovery times, smaller incisions, and more dedicated care, all on an outpatient basis. 

Open Spine Degenerative Disc Disease Surgery

Generally, a surgeon performs open spine surgery for degenerative disc disease in the form of a spinal fusion. This type of procedure requires a large incision and involves the removal of a section of the spinal anatomy. After the incision, the surgeon cuts the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and fascia around the section of the spine to fuse it. 

Then, they will remove the affected disc and fill the section with bone fragments. Using metal hardware, the surgeon will secure the fused vertebrae together, put the muscles, tendons, and ligaments back in place and close the incision.

Minimally Invasive Degenerative Disc Disease Surgery

In addition to a spinal fusion, there are four additional types of degenerative disc disease surgery that surgeons perform using minimally invasive techniques. These are:

  1. Discectomy. During a discectomy, the surgeon removes the damaged material in a disc to relieve a patient’s symptoms.
  2. Facet thermal ablation. The surgeon deadens the nerve endings in an arthritic facet joint.
  3. Foraminotomy. This procedure widens the spine’s foramina, the channels through which nerve roots pass, to give them more space and keep nerves from being compressed by surrounding tissue.
  4. Laminotomy. In this procedure, the surgeon removes part of the lamina, the flat bony structure known as the “roof” of the vertebra, to make more room in the spinal canal.

Surgery with Dr. Keith Girton

BEST Health System is a spine and orthopaedic ambulatory center specializing in minimally invasive surgery. We have seen the vast benefits this form of treatment offers patients and we are proud to introduce it to the Cincinnati community. 

Dr. Keith Girton is BEST Health System’s spine and neck surgeon with a specialization in minimally invasive care. It has always been Dr. Girton’s goal to help patients find the most effective, least invasive treatment route. Are you interested to learn more about degenerative disc disease surgery with Dr. Keith Girton? Contact BEST Health System today.