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Herniated Disc in the Elderly

Treatment of Herniated Disc in the Elderly

Treatment of herniated disc in the elderly includes Microdisectomy (Microdecompression Spine Surgery), a technique that will help reduce the need for further surgeries

Herniated Discs can be a major concern for patients with symptoms such as back pain, leg pain, and an inability to walk for longer distances. If left untreated these symptoms will worsen and cause major complications. This condition are most common in the elder, normally patients above 60, due to the deterioration of the spine which causes one of the discs between the individual bones or vertebrae to push out through a crack in the tougher exterior.

A herniated disc can irritate nearby nerves and result in pain, numbness or weakness in an arm or leg. On the other hand, many people experience no symptoms from a herniated disk. Most people who have a herniated disk do not need surgery to correct the problem.

Dr. Phudiphorn Thienpasit, Senior Director at Spine Center indicates that treatment for herniated disc will be given according to the needs of each patient, this may include advice such as to avoid heavy lifting, combined with taking pain medication, try not to wear tight fitting clothes, and avoid exercise especially when the condition is still in its early stages. However, if symptoms worsen physical therapy will be required and the next step would be injection of steroid medication or surgical treatment.

“Traditional surgical treatment of herniated disc required the removal of the bone/s that is pressing on to the affected nerve/s and requires a titanium plate to be put in its place. Although this technique is effective and there is speedy recovery, it is time consuming and requires follow-up surveillance lasting several months. Furthermore, the disc above the one that had been removed also experiences rapid deterioration, as such if possible surgeons will prefer a technique that does not require the use of a metallic replacement” says the Senior Director of the Bangkok Spine Academy.

With the aforementioned issues in mind, Dr. Phudiphorn has introduced a new surgical technique referred to as microdecompression. In a microdiscectomy or microdecompression spine surgery, a small portion of the bone over the nerve root and/or disc material from under the nerve root is removed to relieve neural impingement and provide more room for the nerve to heal. This technique is safe and helps to reduce costs for the patient as it does not require the use of a titanium implant.

Furthermore, another advantage of Microdecompression is that it is minimally invasive. Meaning the normal surgical wound of 5-8 cm is reduced to 2-3 cm allowing for less pain and faster recovery for the patient.

“With this technique, the Spine Academy is able to provide treatment for herniated disc without the need for an artificial disc”.

If you are experiencing neck or back pain consult Spine Center