This treatment is a minimally invasive procedure involving the removal of herniated disk material that presses on a nerve root or the spinal cord.
A needle is placed in the center of the disk to create a series of channels from which tissue is removed from the nucleus and the herniated disk becomes decompressed. Sedation may be offered for patient comfort.
Patients experiencing pain from a contained herniated disc (meaning there is no rupture in the outer wall of a bulging disc) are candidates for this procedure. Patients who have fragments of disc material in their spinal canal or those who suffer from marked narrowing of the spinal canal are NOT candidates for this procedure.
The total required procedure time might vary between 20 minutes and 1 hour. Total stay at the facility should be limited to 2 or 3 hours.
After undergoing percutaneous discectomy, patients can use prescription medication to control pain during the recovery period. Avoid long periods of sitting, as well as bending, twisting, and lifting, for several weeks.
In patients who respond well to this procedure, leg and herniated disk pain should be diminished within weeks.