𝐘𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐒𝐩𝐢𝐧𝐞, 𝐘𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐅𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐝𝐨𝐦 𝐨𝐟 𝐌𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬.
𝐖𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐭𝐞𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐥 𝐬𝐩𝐚𝐜𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐧𝐞𝐫 𝐚𝐟𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐠𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐢𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐜?
The treatment principle of Percutaneous Laser Disc Decompression (PLDD) is based on the concept of the intervertebral disc is like a closed hydraulic system. This mechanism is exploited by application of laser energy to evaporate water content in the nucleus pulposus through a fine needle, reducing the intradiscal pressure. Apart from evaporation of water, the laser energy also causes protein denaturation, resulting in structural strengthening of the nucleus pulposus and further reduce the intradiscal pressure.
Intradiscal pressure is the main source of pain, numbness and tingling. A reduction of intradiscal pressure causes the herniated part of the disc to shrink, thus leading to reduction of nerve root compression. Patients may feel immediate relief from pain. In other words, PLDD will not makes the intervertebral space thinner.
Lumbar discectomy is another surgery option to remove a herniated disc in the lower spine. An incision is made from back of the spine, through the back muscles and bone (lamina), to remove the herniated disc pressing on the nerve. In order to gain access to the herniated disc, a portion of lamina (part of spinal bone) needs to be cut and removed and spinal nerve is retracted to one side to avoid injuries of nerve. Depending on the severity of slipped disc, one disc (single-level) or more (multi-level) may be removed entirely. Once removed, there is no intervertebral disc in between the intervertebral body, hence, the space may be narrowed. In some cases, metallic medical device (screws/plates) will be implanted into the space, there is a possibility that the spine movement becomes limited or rigid.
A minimally invasive treatment method like PLDD will not make the intervertebral space thinner, there will be minimal disruption of the back muscles and has a shorter recovery time. Surgeon will recommend the technique conservatively.