This surgery removes bones and/or portions of a herniated or diseased disc to relieve neck and radiating arm pain caused by parts of the disc pressing on nerve roots. Through a small incision in the back, a wire is inserted and guided by fluoroscope to locate the affected disc. A series of dilation tubes are passed over the guide wire, pushing apart the tissue and creating an opening to the vertebrae. The guide wire is then removed.
The tubular retractor, though which the surgery will be performed, slides over the dilating tubes. It is positioned on the bone surface and the dilating tubes are removed. A surgical light and small camera or microscope are placed through the tube to allow the surgeon to view the disc. The surgeon uses instruments to clear away bone and soft tissue, accessing the spinal canal. A drill may be used to clear away bone, exposing the pinched nerve root and the herniated disc below it. A small instrument is then passed through the retractor tube and used to check the freedom of the nerve. The surgeon removes the herniated portion of the disc and clears the area, creating room for the nerve to move back to its normal position.
This content is not yet available. Please check back later.