I have a large disc protrusion compressing my L5 nerve and causing spinal stenosis. Do I need surgery?
Disc protrusion is when the disk slips out of it’s normal position in between the spinal vertebrae and extends into the spinal canal. Other commonly used names are bulging disk, slipped disk or herniated disk, etc. Spinal stenosis is tightness or loss of volume of the spinal canal.
Right L4-5 disk protrusion initially is treated with conservative treatment which may include rest, physical therapy, medications and steroid injections. Surgery is considered when a patient fails conservative treatment and/or has severe pain, numbness, weakness or neurological dysfunction (such as urinary incontinence).
Today most disk surgery can be done by using extremely minimally invasive surgical techniques called endoscopic spine surgery or laser spine surgery. This revolutionary same day surgery is done through a tiny tube the size of a pen which is placed into the spine under X-ray guidance. The disk is found and visualized through the high definition video camera found inside the spine endoscope. The disk is then removed with tiny little instruments taking pressure off of the nerve. This usual provides quick relief of pain and suffering. Often patients feel much better right after surgery.
For more information on sciatica and lumbar disk herniations click on the following link Sciatica. Good Luck!