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Percutaneous Discectomy for a Herniated Disc

Low back pain, hip pain, numbness or tingling of the buttocks and legs, and sharp stabbing pain running up and down the legs are all signs of a herniated disc in the spine. Pressure from the bulging or ruptured disc on the nerves that run alongside or branch out from the spinal cord can cause compression and pain. 

For some patients, spine surgery is the only option to relieve the pressure and pain of spinal compression. Percutaneous discectomy is particularly effective for patients who have lower back and severe leg pain due to nerve compression in the spine.

At The Spine and Sports Center at The Galleria in Houston, Sugar Land, and the Willowbrook/Cy-Fair area of Texas, Dr. Ed Benny can perform minimally invasive spinal surgery like percutaneous discectomy to relieve pressure and pain. 

What is a discectomy?

A discectomy surgically removes parts of a herniated or slipped disc, targeting the material applying pressure against a nerve root or the spinal cord. Getting rid of the pressure causes the spine to decompress, allowing for more flexibility and mobility. 

Since there isn’t pressure on the spinal cord or nerve root after the herniated disc material is removed, the pain typically goes away. If you have chronic low back pain and leg pain, decompression of your spine using discectomy could be the answer. 

Traditional vs. percutaneous discectomy

In a traditional discectomy, one or more incisions are made and pieces of the herniated disc are extracted through the incisions. This form of open surgery may be needed if your herniated discs have fractured completely and pieces of the disc are scattered along your spine, or if you have narrowing of the spinal canal.

In a percutaneous discectomy, Dr. Benny uses a small cannula — like a large needle — and accesses the area of herniation by puncturing the skin and muscle. The disc material can be gently pulled out through the cannula and there is no need for incisions or extensive surgery.

Effectiveness of percutaneous discectomy

It is estimated that 20% of all patients who need lumbar disc surgery can be successfully treated using the minimally invasive approach of percutaneous discectomy. In one study of 100 patients treated with this method, 90 had excellent outcomes and only two had an outcome worse than "fair.”   

Dr. Benny will review your medical history and symptoms of pain, numbness, or other signs of spinal compression. He’ll discuss the risks and benefits of percutaneous discectomy with you as well as other possible treatments. 

If you think you might be a candidate for pain relief through percutaneous discectomy, call our nearest location or book a visit online today. 

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