Knoxville’s Best Choice for a Discectomy in Eastern Tennessee
What is a Discectomy?
A discectomy is a spine surgery designed to relieve pressure on a spinal nerve root by removing the damaged portion of a herniated or degenerated intervertebral disc. The surgery is typically performed to treat conditions such as herniated discs, sciatica, or spinal stenosis that have not responded to conservative treatments like physical therapy or medication.
During the procedure, the surgeon makes a small incision in the back to access the affected disc and carefully removes the portion that is pressing on the nerve. The goal of a discectomy is to alleviate pain, improve mobility, and enhance the quality of life for patients experiencing chronic or severe back or leg pain.
Is a Discectomy Major Surgery?
While a discectomy is a surgical intervention aimed at relieving back or leg pain, it is generally considered a less invasive procedure compared to other types of spinal surgeries. Most discectomies are performed on an outpatient basis or may require a short hospital stay.
The surgical technique often employs minimally invasive methods, which means smaller incisions, less tissue disruption, and typically a quicker recovery time. However, like any surgery, there are risks involved, including infection, nerve damage, and bleeding.
It’s crucial to discuss the risks and benefits with your orthopedic doctor to determine if a discectomy is the right treatment option for you.
How Long Does it Take to Recover From a Discectomy?
The recovery time following a discectomy can vary depending on the individual’s overall health, the extent of the disc damage, and the specific surgical technique used. Generally, patients can expect to return to light activities within a few weeks.
More strenuous tasks and exercise may require a longer period, often between 4 to 6 weeks. Physical therapy is usually recommended to aid in a speedy and effective recovery. It’s essential to follow your surgeon’s post-operative guidelines and attend all follow-up appointments to monitor your progress and ensure a successful recovery.
Will Sciatica go Away After Discectomy?
A discectomy is often performed to relieve the symptoms of sciatica caused by a herniated disc pressing on the sciatic nerve. While the procedure has a high success rate in alleviating pain, it’s not a guarantee that sciatica will completely go away for every patient.
Most patients experience significant relief from their symptoms, but the effectiveness can depend on various factors such as the extent of nerve compression and overall health. It is essential to have realistic expectations and to follow through with post-surgical care, including physical therapy and lifestyle modifications, to maximize the chances of long-term relief.
How Painful is Recovery from Discectomy?
Post-operative pain after a discectomy varies among individuals but is generally manageable with prescribed medications. Some discomfort is common, especially in the initial days, but it typically lessens as healing progresses. Effective pain management often includes medication, physical therapy, and following your healthcare team’s guidelines.
For more information or if you have questions, give us a call or schedule an appointment online. Our orthopedic clinic has multiple locations where we serve patients in Knoxville, TN, Oak Ridge, TN, Lenoir City, TN, and Sevierville, TN.
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I would recommend Dr. Wells to anybody that has this kind of back problem. He’s thorough and he’s takes great pride in his craft.