According to research from Georgetown University, nearly 65 million Americans have reported a recent episode of back pain. In fact, they also indicate that approximately 8% of Americans have chronic back pain problems. This causes…
Suffering from back pain is one of the most common medical conditions. Experts even say that 31 million Americans suffer from back pain at any given time. Back pain can ruin your quality of life as you miss work or even stop physical activity.
If you suffer from chronic back pain because of a herniated disc, you may want to consider an endoscopic discectomy. As with any surgery, there are a few things you need to know.
What Is an Endoscopic Discectomy?
This procedure removes herniated or slipped discs through a minimally invasive surgical method. Herniated discs cause significant pain that surgery can ease. The surgeon makes a small incision, about the size of a postage stamp, and inserts a camera to project the operating area onto a larger screen. This avoids the need to make a large incision.
What to Consider Before an Endoscopic Discectomy
Before you choose any treatment, it’s essential to know all the facts. Read on for five things to consider before selecting an endoscopic discectomy.
This surgery usually only lasts about half an hour, whereas some surgeries take hours to complete. Patients are typically able to return home a couple of hours after the surgery and resume everyday activities a few weeks after surgery. Compared to artificial disc replacement or spinal fusion surgery, where it takes a few months to recover, returning to normal after a few weeks is much preferable.
Anesthesia Is Not Required
Many people are uneasy about the thought of going under anesthesia, so they put surgery off. Other people can’t go under anesthesia due to life-threatening allergies or other underlying conditions. If you fall into one of these categories, you may want to consider an endoscopic discectomy.
Though some surgeons may suggest anesthesia, many give the option to perform it under local anesthesia, meaning they block nerve signals from reaching the surgery site so that the patient won’t feel anything.
Alternatives for Pain Medicine
Many people take opiate-based pain pills and strong medication after a herniated disc surgery, which may lead to a severe addiction. However, after an endoscopic discectomy, you can choose from other options.
Acupuncturists strategically place needles into the skin to stimulate natural healing properties and block pain signals. Some surgery may also bring on mental illness, such as depression or anxiety, which can increase your pain. Consider seeing a therapist before or after your procedure to help you cope with any emotional distress.
You’ll Need Physical Therapy Afterward
While endoscopic discectomies require less recovery time, you’ll still need physical therapy. Weakened back or neck muscles leave your spine unsupported and can lead to pain or risk of further injury. Physical therapy will also decrease the amount of time it takes to recover fully. Safely working your muscles in a controlled setting will improve your quality of life after surgery.
Endoscopic Discectomy Can Fix Other Back Issues
While this surgery is mainly performed to repair or replace herniated discs, a doctor may suggest the procedure to fix disc bulges or tears. If you’re suffering from chronic back pain, ask your doctor if an endoscopic discectomy can ease your pain.
Contact Expert Spine Surgeons at OLSS in Florida
If you’re suffering from back pain, reach out to the spine surgeons at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery. Our doctors are leaders in their fields and have dedicated their careers to ensuring patients receive the best possible treatment. Choose a medical group that cares. When you choose OLSS, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing our commitment is to you.
Call (855) 853-6542 or complete our contact form today. We’re here to help you get back to the life you once enjoyed before your back pain began.