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Herniated Disc and Disc Herniation Lawsuit Funding

Disc Protrusion

The bones called vertebrae that form the spine in your back are cushioned by small discs. These discs are round and flat, with a tough, outer layer (annulus) that surrounds a jelly-like material called the nucleus. Located between each of your vertebra in the spinal column, these discs act as shock absorbers for the spinal bones. Thick ligaments attached to the vertebrae hold the pulpy disc material in place. The spinal disc is a soft cushion that sits between each vertebrae of the spine. When a disc herniation occurs, the cushion that sits between the spinal vertebra is pushed outside its normal position. As the spinal disc becomes less elastic, it can rupture. When the disc ruptures, a portion of the spinal disc pushes outside its normal boundary--this is called a "herniated disc." When a herniated disc bulges out from between the vertebrae, the spinal nerves and spinal cord can become pinched. There is normally a little extra space around the spinal cord and spinal nerves, but if enough of the herniated disc is pushed out of place, then these structures may be compressed. Herniated discs can occur in any part of the spine. Herniated discs are more common in the lower back called the lumbar spine, but also occur in the neck called the cervical spine. The area in which you experience pain depends on what part of the spine is affected.

Discectomy

When an intervertebral disc's nucleus pulposus (the center of the disc) becomes damaged to the point where conservative treatment methods fail to offer the patient sufficient relief, a discectomy may be performed to remove it. A damaged nucleus pulposus causes pain by placing excessive strain and/or pressure on the spinal cord or exiting nerves. In order to remove the fragment of herniated disc, your surgeon will make an incision over the center of your back. A discectomy is performed under general anesthesia. Using special instruments, your surgeon removes a small amount of bone and ligament from the back of the spine. This part of the procedure is called a laminotomy. Once this bone and ligament is removed, your surgeon can see, and protect, the spinal nerves. Once the disc herniation is found, the herniated disc fragment is removed. Depending on the appearance and the condition of the remaining disc, more disc fragments may be removed in hopes of avoiding another fragment of disc from herniating in the future. Once the disc has been cleaned out from the area around the nerves, the incision is closed and a bandage is applied.

Microdiscectomy

Microdiscectomy, also called minimally invasive spine surgery, is an alternative to open surgery for certain types of disc herniation, usually of the lumbar spine. In microdiscectomy, a special operating microscope is used to view the disc and spinal nerves through a small, about 2 to 4 cm, incision in the back. Smaller and lighter surgical instruments are used to remove herniated disc material through the small incision with minimal trauma to surrounding tissue. Many individuals who undergo microdiscectomy are discharged after overnight observation and have relief of symptoms with minimal soreness.

 

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Cervical Endoscopic Discectomy

Herniated discs are often called a "slipped disk". This term was derived from the action of the nuclear tissue when it is forced from the center of the disc. Although the disc itself does not slip, the nuclear tissue located in the center of the disc can be placed under so much pressure that it can cause the annulus to herniate or rupture. When the disc has herniated or ruptured, it may create pressure against one or more of the spinal nerves which can cause pain, weakness or numbness in the neck and arm. Other vernacular terms for a herniated disc are a "protruded disk" or a "ruptured disk". Cervical Endoscopic Discectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to remove herniated disc material that is causing pain the neck. With the guidance of x-ray imaging and magnified video, the surgeon is able to precisely insert the surgical tools into the herniated disc space. Cervical endoscopic discectomy is generally done under general anesthesia. A small metal tube of about 4 mm in diameter is inserted to the target cervical spine area with disc problems under X-ray guidance. The herniated disc can be found easily with a camera looking through the tube. Under the guidance of the x-ray fluoroscopy and magnified video, a large piece of herniated disc is pulled out with a grasper. A small disc bulge or annular tear is treated with a laser, which vaporizes disc material, kills pain nerves within the disc, and hardens the disc to prevent further leakage of disc material to the surrounding area. Finally, the tube is removed and the incision is closed with a stitch or two.

 

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Percutaneous Discectomy | Percutaneous Endoscopic Lumbar Discectomy (PELD)

Percutaneous discectomy is another option for surgical management of herniated disc in the lumbar spine. It involves the surgical removal of herniated disc/bulging disc material that presses on a nerve root or the spinal cord. A percutaneous endoscopic discectomy is used to treat herniated disc; bulging disc; and pinched nerve (nerve root compression).

Laminectomy | Laminotomy

Laminectomy is a surgical procedure designed to relieve pressure on nerves or the spinal cord in the back or in the neck. This procedure involves the complete removal of the back portion of the spinal vertebrae (lamina) and attached ligaments. It is often performed to relieve pressure on a nerve root that is causing radiating pain and weakness. This condition is often referred to as inflammation of a nerve root (radiculitis) or pathology of the nerve root (radiculopathy).

A laminectomy is frequently confused with a laminotomy, which is only the partial removal of the lamina and attached ligaments. Laminectomies and laminotomies are often performed in the course of a number of operations on the spinal canal, such as removal of a ruptured disc. During both procedures, the surgeon gains access to the spinal canal, spinal cord, and nerve roots to remove the source of pain and pressure, such as a slipped disc, To help keep your spine steady and promote fusion, extra support may be used. If extra support is needed, metal supports called instrumentation may be used to help steady your spine while it fuses. These supports are not removed. Your surgeon may use one or more types of support. The most common type of support used with cervical fusion is a plate. The incision is closed with sutures or staples. The area will then fuse. This surgical procedure can be very effective for relieving the pain associated with compressed nerve roots.

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