DISKECTOMY

diskectomy
multiple spinal fusion surgery

Diskectomy is surgery to remove all or part of the cushion that helps support part of your spinal column.

spinal fusion surgery

Description

These cushions are called disks, and they separate your spinal bones (vertebrae).

A surgeon may perform disk removal (diskectomy) in these different ways.

• Microdiskectomy: When you have a microdiskectomy, the surgeon does not need to do much surgery on the bones, joints, ligaments, or muscles of your spine.

• Diskectomy in the lower part of your back (lumbar spine) may be part of a larger surgery that also includes a laminectomy, foraminotomy, or spinal fusion.

• Diskectomy in your neck (cervical spine) is most often done along with laminectomy, foraminotomy, or fusion.

Microdiskectomy is done in a hospital or outpatient surgical center. You will be given spinal anesthesia (to numb your spine area) or general anesthesia (asleep and pain-free).

• The surgeon makes a small (1 to 1.5-inch, or 2.5 to 3.8-centimeter) incision (cut) on your back and moves the back muscles away from your spine. The surgeon uses a special microscope to see the problem disk or disks and nerves during surgery.

• The nerve root is located and gently moved away.

• The surgeon removes the injured disk tissue and pieces of the disk.

• The back muscles are returned to place.

• The incision is closed with stitches or staples.

• The surgery takes about 1 to 2 hours.

Diskectomy and laminotomy are usually done in the hospital, using general anesthesia (asleep and pain-free).

• The surgeon makes a larger cut on your back over the spine.

• Muscles and tissue are gently moved to expose your spine.

• A small part of the lamina bone (part of the vertebrae that surrounds the spinal column and nerves) is cut away. The opening may be as large as the ligament that runs along your spine.

• A small hole is cut in the disk that is causing your symptoms. Material from inside the disk is removed.

Other fragments of the disk may also be removed.