What is a Bulging Disc
A bulging disc occurs when one of the discs that cushion the spinal bone 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 nerves undergo compression, it can cause symptoms that travel down the pathway of an affected nerve. This can cause weakness, numbness, tingling, and pain in the extremities. Nonsurgical treatments are typically effective in alleviating these problems. However, some patients may require a surgical procedure described below to achieve the relief that they need.
What Bulging Disc Surgery Involves
The goal of bulging disc surgery is to remove part of or the entire damaged disc. Surgeons can use a few different techniques to help alleviate symptoms such as:
- Extracting part of a disc during partial discectomy
- Taking out an entire disc during a total discectomy and fusing two of the 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. 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 BEST Health System, we perform minimally invasive procedures that are safer and more effective alternatives to open spine surgery for certain patients who have this condition. If you’d like to know whether you’re a candidate for one of our outpatient procedures, reach out to our team today.
BEST Health System can help 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 BEST Health System today to learn if our outpatient procedures would effectively relieve your pain.