Occasionally a herniated disc is severe enough that surgery is required. Before the procedure, your doctor will examine you spinal column via MRI or CT scan. This will allow the doctor to determine if in fact the herniated disc is the source of your symptoms and whether or not surgery is a viable option. If it is, plan to be off work for 2 to 4 weeks after the surgery for an office job, and 4 to 8 weeks for a job that demands significant physical labor.
The surgery will occur in a hospital under general anesthesia and in some cases can be done on an out-patient basis. During the surgery the surgeon removes the tissue that is pressing on a nerve or the spinal cord. This is call discectomy or microdiscetomy. In the case of microdiscentomy, the surgeon uses a tiny microscope to view the disc and nerves. This allows for greater precision and is typically less invasive. Depending on where the herniation is, the surgeon may also remove a very small piece of vertebra in order to get a better view of the area.
Surprisingly, after surgery you will be encouraged to get out of bed and walk rather quickly. Walking throughout your recovery will inhibit the buildup of excessive scar tissue. You will likely be provided pain medications (if so desired) and a post-op spinal brace to curb pain during the recovery period. You will be walking, but you should resume more rigorous physical activities gradually. You can usually start low impact exercise such as swimming and biking around two weeks after the procedure. That said - every human body is different. Always listen to your body during the recovery period and avoid activities that cause pain.
About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a premier supplier of medical products and devices including a wide selection of braces and supports. For quality cervical braces and collars,as well as elbow braces and shoulder immobilzers.