Ruptured disc surgery

How serious is a ruptured disc?

A ruptured disc causes severe low back pain and, sometimes, shooting pain down the back of the legs, which is known as sciatica. Usually the symptoms of a disc rupture heal on their own after a few weeks to a month. If the problem persists for months and becomes chronic, you may choose to eventually consider surgery .

How long does it take to recover from herniated disc surgery?

It can take as long as several months for patients to make a full recovery, and as long as 6 weeks to return to work. The recovery period can contain significant discomfort.

Should I have surgery for herniated disc?

Your doctor might recommend surgery as an option for your herniated disc if: Your symptoms have lasted at least 6 weeks and make it hard to do your normal activities, and other treatments haven’t helped. You need to get better quickly because of your job or to get back to your other activities as soon as possible.

Can a ruptured disc heal?

Usually a herniated disc will heal on its own over time. Be patient, and keep following your treatment plan. If your symptoms don’t get better in a few months, you may want to talk to your doctor about surgery.

How do they repair a ruptured disc?

Discectomy is the most common surgery used for herniated disc in the lumbar region. In this procedure , the portion of the disc that is causing the pressure on your nerve root is removed. In some cases, the entire disc is removed. The surgeon will access the disc through an incision in your back (or neck).

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How does it feel when a disc ruptures?

A herniated disc occurs when the gel-like center of a disc ruptures through a weak area in the tough outer wall, similar to the filling being squeezed out of a jelly doughnut. Back or leg pain, numbness or tingling may result when the disc material touches or compresses a spinal nerve.

Can you walk after herniated disc surgery?

You must protect your back so that it can heal properly. You will be encouraged to slowly increase your activity level during the first week of recovery after surgery for a herniated disc . Walking is a great exercise after surgery as it helps to improve aerobic endurance and promote circulation in your body.

How long is hospital stay after back surgery?

You may be in the hospital for 1 to 3 days; longer if you have spinal fusion. Rest is important. But doctors want you out of bed as soon as possible. Most people start physical therapy within 24 hours.

How long do you stay in hospital after a discectomy?

Most patients can go home the same day. Other patients can be released from the hospital in 1 to 2 days. Take pain medication as directed by your surgeon.

Can you get paralyzed from a herniated disc?

With a herniated disc , the capsule cracks or breaks, and the nucleus squeezes out. This can irritate the spinal cord or nearby nerves, causing weakness and numbness in the arms or legs. A severely herniated disc can cause paralysis .

What activities should you avoid with a herniated disc?

Everyday Activities to Avoid with Herniated Disc Sitting too much. Sitting puts more stress on your spinal discs, especially when slouching forward in a seat. Doing laundry. Vacuuming. Feeding a pet. Strenuous exercise . Shoveling snow or gardening. Learn more:

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How bad is a herniated disc?

An untreated, severe slipped disc can lead to permanent nerve damage. In very rare cases, a slipped disc can cut off nerve impulses to the cauda equina nerves in your lower back and legs. If this occurs, you may lose bowel or bladder control. Another long-term complication is known as saddle anesthesia.

What is the difference between a herniated disc and a ruptured disc?

Herniated disks are also called ruptured disks or slipped disks , although the whole disk does not rupture or slip. Only the small area of the crack is affected. Compared with a bulging disk , a herniated disk is more likely to cause pain because it generally protrudes farther and is more likely to irritate nerve roots.

How do you sleep with a herniated disc?

If you have a herniated disc , you may want to try sleeping on your side curled in a fetal position: Lay on your back and then roll over gently onto your side. Tuck your knees toward your chest and gently curl your torso toward your knees. Remember to switch sides from time to time to prevent any imbalances.

What is the best painkiller for herniated disc?

Treatment Over-the-counter pain medications . If your pain is mild to moderate, your doctor might recommend over-the-counter pain medication , such as acetaminophen ( Tylenol , others) ibuprofen ( Advil , Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium ( Aleve ). Cortisone injections. Muscle relaxers. Opioids.

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