A bulging disc, which occurs when one of the spine's intervertebral discs becomes misshapen, is one of the most common back conditions. As people age, the spinal discs lose fluid and become less resilient, which can lead to bulging discs; in addition, athletes, pregnant women, and obese people are particularly prone to bulging discs. However, a disc bulge can happen to anyone. In some cases, a bulging disc causes no symptoms - but f it presses against the spinal cord or the nerve roots, then it may cause pain, muscle weakness, or numbness.
Bulging discs are often quite mild, and respond well to non-surgical treatments. For example, physical therapy can help by improving the posture and strengthening the core; certain drugs can help by reducing inflammation. But some bulging disc symptoms don't resolve after these treatments, and in rare cases symptoms are severe and progressive. In such instances, surgery may be needed.
It's understandable to wonder about the bulging disc surgery recovery time, even as you're aware that the surgery will be extremely beneficial. In large part, the bulging disc surgery recovery time depends on the type of surgery used for treatment. The patient's healing rate and how well they care for themselves after surgery also plays a role.
The two broad types of bulging disc surgery are laser spine surgery and open spine surgery. For decades, open spine surgery was the only available option. Open spine surgery is effective, but it's a highly invasive procedure with a lengthy recovery time. Many patients are away from work for several weeks, and it can take as long as several months to heal completely and return to physically strenuous activities.
Laser spine surgery is a modern, minimally invasive procedure that helps to minimize the bulging disc surgery recovery time. The procedure doesn't require the doctor to open up the spine, and it can be performed using local anesthesia in an outpatient setting. Most people return to work within about a week, and make a full recovery in about 6 weeks.
To minimize your recovery time from any surgery, you should follow your doctor's recommendations following surgery. Recommendations about physical activity, lifestyle, medication, and wound care are designed to help you heal as quickly as possible, while avoiding potential complications.
To schedule a consultation about whether bulging disc surgery is right for you, please click below and enter your information or call the Datta Endoscopic Back Surgery and Pain Center at (347)-380-9138.