A discectomy is a form of spine surgery that removes a portion or all of an existing spinal disc (the tissue that acts as a cushion between the vertebral bones of the spine).
At Dignity Health, skilled orthopedic surgeons use the latest surgical technology to perform a wide range of procedures for open and minimally invasive back surgery. To learn more about a discectomy in Arizona or to request an appointment, Find a Doctor.
Am I Eligible for a Discectomy?
Doctors at Dignity Health may recommend treating herniated or ruptured discs with a discectomy if you have:
- Back or leg pain that does not improve with treatment after six weeks
- Numbness or weakness in your back or legs that has not improved with other therapies
- Problems walking or performing other routine tasks on a daily basis
- Bowel incontinence caused by nerve compression
- Bladder incontinence caused by nerve compression
- Symptoms that have not improved with noninvasive treatments such as medications, physical therapy, and rest
If you or a loved one is experiencing one or more of these symptoms, speak with an orthopedic doctor at Dignity Health. We can diagnose your symptoms and provide you with a personalized plan for treatment.
What to Expect With a Discectomy at Dignity Health
A discectomy is a surgical procedure that is performed in a Dignity Health hospital or outpatient surgery center. Depending on the type and location of your condition, you may be given either general or spinal anesthesia. A discectomy can be performed as an open surgery or a minimally invasive procedure (c)alled microdiscectomy.
If you are eligible for minimally invasive surgery, your surgeon will make a small incision — usually less than an inch — to access the area and make repairs. With open surgery, the surgeon will typically make a 2- to 4-inch incision in the spine.
Minimally invasive discectomy typically means less pain, a quicker recovery, and less risk of complications than open spine surgery.
Discectomy Recovery & Life After Surgery
Once your surgery is complete, you will probably need to spend several days in the hospital. Your recovery will be aided with physical therapy. Depending on your age and overall health, it may take up to eight weeks to fully recover from a discectomy. If your job requires heavy lifting or operating heavy machinery that vibrates, your recovery time may be longer. Your health care team will help you determine when it will be safe to return to your normal routine.
You can help protect your neck and back from future spine problems by following these steps:
- Get regular exercise to strengthen the muscles in your back.
- Maintain good posture.
- Keep a healthy weight.
- Use proper form when lifting heavy objects.
Dignity Health performs quality discectomy in Arizona, as part of our orthopedic services.