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Overview: Discectomy is a surgical procedure that is done to remove the damaged portion of a herniated disk in your spine. A herniated disk has the possibility to irritate or compress the nerves located nearby. A discectomy is performed to relieve the pressure of a herniated disk (also called a slipped, ruptured or bulging disk or disk prolapse).
Your doctor may recommend a discectomy if:
Discectomy is usually performed using general anaesthesia, so you remain unconscious during the procedure. Minor amounts of spinal bone and ligament may be removed to gain access to the herniated disk.
Generally, just a fragment of the disk that is pinching the nerve is removed, relieving the pressure but also leaving most of the disk intact.
If the entire disk must be removed, your surgeon may need to fill the space with a piece of bone that is either taken from a deceased donor, from your own pelvis, or a synthetic bone substitute. The adjoining vertebrae is then fused together with metal hardware.
Discectomy is considered to be a safe procedure. But as with any major surgery, a discectomy carries a risk of complications. Some possible complications include:
Herniated disk:Herniated disk refers to a problem with one of the rubbery cushions (disks) between the individual bones (vertebrae) that stack up to make your spine.
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