Capital Region Special Surgery medical office Albany, NY

A multi-disciplinary practice dedicated to state-of-the-art care.

Medical specialists Albany New York


discectomyDiscectomy is the surgical removal of herniated disc material that presses on a nerve root or the spinal cord. Before the disc material is removed, some of the bone from the affected vertebra may be removed using a laminotomy or laminectomy to allow the surgeon to better see the area.

Microdiscectomy uses a special microscope or magnifying instrument to view the disc and nerves. The magnified view makes it possible for the surgeon to remove herniated disc material through a smaller incision, thus causing less damage to surrounding tissue.

Before a discectomy, your doctor will confirm that a herniated disc is causing your symptoms by using an imaging study, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT scan).

During discectomy, the surgeon removes the fragments of disc material that have protruded into the spinal canal. The disc space may also be explored, and any loose fragments of disc that could eventually press on nerves can be removed.

These procedures are commonly performed in a hospital, using general anesthesia. In some cases discectomy can be performed in an outpatient surgical center.

What To Expect After Surgery
After a discectomy, you will be encouraged to get out of bed and walk as soon as the anesthetic wears off. You can use prescription medications to control pain during the recovery period and will be advised to resume exercise and other activities gradually. Other considerations include the following:

Many people are able to resume work and daily activities soon after surgery. In some cases, your health professional may recommend a rehabilitation program after surgery, which might include physical therapy and home exercises.

Why It Is Done
When surgery is used to treat a herniated disc, it is done to decrease pain and allow for more normal movement and function. Surgery is considered if the following conditions are present:

You have a history of persistent leg pain, as well as weakness and limitation of daily activities. Results of a physical examination find that you currently have weakness, loss of motion, abnormal sensitivity, or reflex change.

Diagnostic testing, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), or myelogram, indicates that your herniated disc can be treated surgically.

Discectomy is also done if:

Fields marked with an * are required

If this is an emergency or life-threatening situation, please call 911. Questions related to surgery scheduling, cancellation, rescheduling or pre-operative exams must be conducted via telephone or in-person with our surgical scheduling staff during normal business hours.

Have you had any of the following imaging studies done as they pertain to your requested appointment?