North American Spine offers a unique approach to the lumbar discectomy, in which a physician inserts a thin endoscope into the spinal canal, which allows the physician to maneuver to multiple areas of the spine, confirm the initial diagnosis and MRI report, and treat the area all in one short outpatient procedure. Please visit our dedicated Procedure section to view an animation of the procedure, read published medical research about the approach, and review patient testimonials.
Below you can find general information about a lumbar discectomy and lumbar DND.
Lumbar Disc and Neural Decompression
A disc and neural decompression (D.N.D.) is a modern surgical technique designed to produce minimal damage and provide maximum ease in the treatment of a variety of common lower back problems, including herniated spinal discs and a narrowing of the spinal column called stenosis. The procedure has several advantages over other common spinal surgeries.
Herniated discs and spinal stenosis can damage your health by putting abnormal pressure on your spinal cord or spinal nerves and triggering symptoms that include pain and harmful alterations in the sensory information relayed to your brain. You can develop these problems at any point in your spine, and they commonly appear in the lower back (lumbar spine). Some people only have one form of spinal damage, or only experience problems at a single location within the spinal column. However, others have multiple forms of damage, or develop damage at multiple locations.
Disc and Neural Decompression Basics
Disc and neural decompression gives your surgeon the ability to identify multiple types of spinal damage, or to address problems that appear in different parts of your lumbar spine. At the start of the surgery, he will use live X-rays to get a clear picture of a spinal area called the epidural space, which sits between your spinal cord and the walls of your spinal canal. Next, he will make a small incision over the lower portion of your spine, called the sacrum, which forms the rear of your pelvis. He will then use this incision to insert a tiny, flexible camera—called a fiber-optic endoscope—through an opening in your sacrum and up into the interior of the epidural space.
After inserting the endoscope, your surgeon can view the images it produces on a video monitor and examine the interior of your lumbar spinal canal. From this perspective, he can detect compression of your spinal cord or spinal nerves caused by herniated discs or spinal stenosis. He can also detect any scar tissue that’s wrapped around a spinal nerve. After detecting these or other problems, your surgeon can insert a laser or modified surgical instrument through the body of the endoscope and correct them.
Disc and Neural Decompression Benefits
Disc and neural decompression can effectively address spinal stenosis, herniated discs, scar tissue in the spinal canal or other issues without the need for the extensive collateral tissue damage associated with more invasive forms of surgery. In many cases, people who undergo the procedure experience immediate or rapid reduction of their symptoms, or even full elimination of their symptoms. In addition, disc and neural decompression is typically followed by an uncomplicated recovery and a quick return to your normal, everyday routine. D.N.D. procedures that include laser treatment produce positive results almost twice as frequently as D.N.D. procedures done without laser treatment. Because of disc and neural decompression’s role in detecting multiple spinal problems, the procedure can also save you considerable time and expense.
Disc and Neural Decompression Risks
Potential complications of disc and neural decompression include post-surgical pain, leakage of the fluid surrounding the spinal cord, infection of the surgical track, infection of a treated spinal disc, headaches, hemorrhages in the portion of your eye called the retina, short-term alterations in your normal nerve sensations and infection of the membranes that help protect your spinal cord. Occurrence of any long-term complications is rare.