What is a discectomy?
This technique is performed through a small incision on the front of the neck, normally 4-5 cm long. Your surgeon will use a microscope to remove the disc and any areas of bone which may be compressing either the spinal nerves or the spinal cord. Once the disc has been removed either an artificial spacer or a disc replacement is inserted. There are advantages and disadvantages to both techniques and your surgeon will explain them to you. This surgery is very effective (>90%) at relieving the arm pain caused by a trapped nerve. The surgery does carry some small risks. The approach to the spinal column requires some pressure on the voice box and therefore it is normal for the voice to be hoarse for between a few days and weeks. Occasionally permanent changes to the speech can occur. Major complications such as paralysis or death can occur but are rare occurring in less than one in 400 cases. We aim to have you up and walking on the first day post-operatively and would hope to have you home within 3-5 days.