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If you have back pain, sciatica or neck and arm pain, you may be suffering from a herniated disc. Herniated discs are a common problem, and when they cause intense back or neck pain or pain traveling down your leg or arm, you need to get started on treatment right away.

The cartilage between your vertebrae acts like a small shock absorber. It is made of a jelly-like inner core surrounded by a tough outer band of tissue called the annulus fibrosis.

As a result of simple wear and tear, the band gain weaken allowing the jelly core to squirt out of from between the bones. When that occurs, the jelly can compress your spinal nerves, resulting in back or neck pain and leg or arm pain associated with it.

If you have back or neck pain, you should see your doctor right away to get an accurate diagnosis of your condition and to get started on treatment right away. Your doctor can assess your condition and perform diagnostic studies to rule in or out a herniated disc as the cause of your pain.

Treatment for Herniated Discs

There are many different treatments for herniated discs. Some patients benefit from conservative treatment like physical therapy or chiropractic care. Other patients benefit from spinal injections to help decrease their back or neck pain.

If your pain is persistent and fails to go away with conservative treatment, you may benefit from surgery to treat your problem. Finding a NJ neurosurgeon that you trust is paramount to get the best care possible.

There are different types of surgery available for people with herniated discs. These may include:

  • Microdiscectomy
  • Spinal fusion
  • Laminectomy

The goal of these surgeries is to carefully excise the herniated disc material that is compressing your spinal nerves. This helps to decrease your pain and improve your spinal mobility.

When considering back surgery, there are two different approaches that your surgeon may use.

Some classically trained doctors use a standard open approach to surgery. This involves making a large incision in your back and dissecting your spinal muscles to visualize your herniated disc. The surgeon then cuts away disc material to take pressure off of your nerves.

A new and innovative approach to spine surgery for a herniated disc that a few New Jersey neurosurgeons use is the minimally invasive spine surgery. Many patients are seeking out surgeons who perform this type of surgery because of its superior benefits when compared to the standard open approach.

What is Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

Minimally invasive spine surgery involves your surgeon making a small incision in your back. Your back muscles will be left intact, and your spine is approached by gently spreading your muscles your muscles. Specialized instruments that allow your surgeon to visualize your spinal structures will be introduced through those openings.

Other instruments are then used to excise disc or bone material that may be compressing your spinal nerves. This decompression helps to relieve your pain and improve the way your spine moves. Once your nerves are decompressed, your doctor will remove the surgical tools and carefully close the small incisions in your back.

Benefits of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

There are many reasons that patients choose to have minimally invasive spine surgery for a herniated disc. First, the incisions made during the minimally invasive surgery are tiny, creating less exposure to your body and decreasing the risk of infection. A small incision also means decreased blood loss during minimally invasive spine surgery.

During minimally invasive spine surgery, your doctor does not need to dissect your spinal muscles away from your bones. Small portals are made in the muscles instead. This means that muscular function is maintained after the surgery, and healing times may be shortened.

Since minimally invasive spine surgery involves small incisions and sparing of the back muscles, many patients report significantly less pain with this approach. The minimally invasive approach allows you to rapidly return to your previous level of function and activity quickly and safely.

Where to Turn for Treatment

If you are dealing with back pain or sciatica from a herniated disc, you may be wondering where you should turn for treatment. Many residents of New Jersey believe that travel into New York City is necessary to find a neurosurgeon who performs minimally invasive spine surgery. This is not true.

Many NJ neurosurgeons have undertaken the specialized training necessary to perform minimally invasive spine surgery for herniated discs. When dealing with spinal pain and considering surgery, it is wise to find a local NJ neurosurgeon who performs minimally invasive spine surgery.

Ask your doctor for a trusted referral to a neurosurgeon who performs minimally invasive spine surgery.

Qualities of Top NJ Neurosurgeon

Every person is different and everyone experiences pain from a herniated disc differently. There is no “cookie cutter” approach to surgery. All doctors are different too, and finding the best neurosurgeon for you is paramount when considering spinal surgery.

Your neurosurgeon should explain to you the risks and benefits associated with minimally invasive spine surgery for herniated discs. He or she should answer your questions and help you feel at ease about your decision to have surgery.

A top-rated neurosurgeon should help you by giving you information about what to expect from surgery, and you should never feel pressured into having a surgical procedure.

Your doctor should be a leader in her or her field, with a level of specialized training that surpasses his or her peers. When meeting with neurosurgeons to discuss surgery, be sure to ask about his or her qualifications and training.

You should feel a sense of trust in your doctor, and your doctor should act like a guide for you, ensuring that you understand how to prepare for surgery and what your expected post-operative recovery will be.

If you have a herniated disc, then you understand how it can cause low back pain or sciatica or neck and arm pain. That pain can limit your ability to enjoy your normal work and recreational activity. Active people with herniated discs causing pain typically enjoy a speedy recovery when choosing minimally invasive spine surgery.

Working with a trusted neurosurgeon can help you maximize your outcomes and lead to a full recovery to your previous level of activity.
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