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Disc hernia surgery is often a fearful undertaking for those suffering from chronic and debilitating back pain. Disc hernias are caused by traumatic injury to the pads found between spinous processes or can often be a result of normal aging processes in which the protective pads between the spine become worn or blood supply to the disc becomes ineffective, causing cell starvation and disintegration of the pad itself. Many times the disc becomes dislodged, or moves, causing the bulging or herniated disc.
Often, surgery is used as a last resort only after all other non- invasive treatment options have been exhausted. Exercise, physical therapy and pharmacological treatment options are explored first to eliminate back pain and restore function to acceptable levels. When these options fail, there are other procedures that may help.
Benefits of Disc Hernia Surgery
Disc hernia surgery can relive painful symptoms and limited mobility such as arm muscle weakness, neck and back pain, muscle spasms and limited activities for young and old alike. Repair of a herniated disc can restore the individual to allow a full and pain free activity level and return to normal activities of daily living.
Disc Hernia Surgery Process
Several options are available for disc hernia repair, but two are the most common approaches performed by an orthopedic surgeon.
The Bonati Arthroscopic Laser Disectomy
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
In the Bonati approach, the area in which the pinched nerve is located. After making a small incision while the patient is awake, the surgeon inserts a thin endoscopic tube. This tube is small and looks like a pencil thin rubber hose with a camera and small instruments located on the far end. This allows the surgeon to remove the diseased or injured part of the disc. After partial removal, a laser is then used on the area to vaporize the surrounding tissue and to shrink and re- shape the remainder of the disc. A small bandage is all that is needed to until completion of the healing process.
Another popular method is what is known as minimally invasive spine surgery. With over fifteen different approaches, depending on the location of the damaged disc, this surgery also only requires a small incision to be made, then inserting a laparoscopic tube called an AccuraScope. The advantage of the Accura Scope is the ability for this procedure to repair multiple areas along the spinal canal all in real time and only requires the one procedure for multiple issues.
The incision itself only requires a small cut measuring approximately ½ inch long. The surgeon is able to visualize the damaged areas along the spinal canal through a small microscope with a light located in the tip of the tube. Small instruments also located at the distal or far end of the tube enable the surgeon to light, cut, cauterize and repair tissues without resorting to large incisions or cutting into surrounding muscle, tendons, ligaments or bone.
How Much Does Disc Hernia Surgery Cost?
Disc hernia surgery can cost between $20,000 and $50,000 in the U.S., depending on location, size of the hernia, and approaches to deal with the hernia. However, medical tourists traveling to such destinations in India may enjoy the same benefits of disc hernia surgical procedures for less than $10,000, and costs commonly average around $8,500. Lower costs by no means reflect lack of experience, expertise, state-of-the-art equipment or facilities, but merely reflect lower fees, lower rents, as well as a decreased need for astronomical malpractice insurance costs which are common in the United States.
Who Performs Disc Hernia Surgery?
Orthopedic surgeons perform all types of orthopedic surgical procedures including disc hernia surgeries. Patients should be sure to validate that their surgeon is board certified with local State, Provincial, or National Boards of Certification or Associations before undergoing surgery.
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