Slipped disc surgery – overview, risks, recovery

This is true reality – a lot of people suffer from back injuries nowadays. Someone’s got a sprain; other ones face daily pain in their lower back. Somebody is not lucky enough and gets a spine fracture or dislocation due to an incident. There are different types of back problems that can potentially occur and different options for dealing with them. This article will focus attention on slipped disc surgery and open up all its facts and hidden rocks. If you’d like to find out what may cause such a trauma, how to treat and recover from it, and which risks you may face, keep on reading.

Table of contents

  1. Introduction 
  2. What are the symptoms?
  3. Medical designation
  4. The trauma history
  5. What causes the slipped disk?
  6. The treatment options
  7. Post-operational risks
  8. The recovery process
  9. Some statistics to cheer you up!
  10. Conclusion

What are the symptoms?

Let’s start with the symptoms to identify if surgery for slipped disc with the TOPS System is what may help you. Back injuries are very different, but this is obvious for an experienced doctor only. If you’d like to understand what’s happening to your back at home, you may be confused as, at the same time, the symptoms may seem very common to you. So, let’s try to understand them a little better and save you from doing wrong things that negatively affect your body.
The signs of injury are different, and the medicine distinguishes these as major:

  1. Pain in the lower back area
  2. Pain in the neck area
  3. Weakness of spine muscles
  4. Decreased flexibility in the back area

If one of the listed symptoms is relevant to you, or you feel them all together, it means that the herniated disc is your issue number one, and you definitely know what to deal with.

Medical designation

But what exactly is this trauma from the medical point of view? What happens inside your body when the injury becomes a problem? Let’s define it for you to understand the “enemy” better. Every doctor names different definitions, but the general scientific determination says that: “Disc slippage is damage to the shock-absorbing and connective tissue between the vertebrae”.

It is one of the most serious back injuries. In addition to simple discomfort, this can lead to a disability that can never be corrected. 

The trauma history

A slipped disc existed as a serious problem for a very long time and, in the past, there weren’t any tools to fix it. By historical standards, the complex treatment appeared relatively recently – only in the middle of the twentieth century. Spontaneous resorption of herniated intervertebral discs was first described by epidurography. In 1984, the next work was published by Faustino C. Guinto. In 1990, the journal Spine published an article in which J. A. Saal and co-authors first described the phenomenon of spontaneous hernia resorption based on the results of MRI and CT. That made a great impact on medicine and significantly increased the number of successful back surgeries. Thanks to these and other studies, modern doctors are able to help people even in the most difficult cases of spine trauma.

What causes the slipped disk? 

Now that you know the symptoms, and have the overall understanding of the issue, let’s figure out how such an injury may occur. Mostly, people don’t even remember how, where, and when they’ve injured their back and started to feel pain. We’ll try to highlight the most widespread reasons why people get spine issues:

  1. Excessive sports load
  2. An incident
  3. Overweight
  4. Wrongly lifted heavyweights
  5. Bad posture
  6. Genetics

As soon as the cause is defined, the treatment will go along a certain way.

The treatment options

Now we will talk about the treatment process more in detail. Of course, everything is individual, and before agreeing to any sort of procedure, you should discuss it with your doctor. However, we just want to tell you about all possible ways of dealing with a slipped disc. In fact, there are only three most effective variations:

  • Massage – it may help ease your pain but must be performed by the specialist only;
  • Pain relievers and restorative drugs – also help to ease pain, but not for a long time;
  • Back surgery for the slipped disc – the most effective option that successfully deals with back trauma.

Of course, the best results you can get with the invasive methods only, i.e., surgery for slipped disc in the lower back. Although, such a procedure may entail multiple risks. What are these risks, and are they big enough to refuse operation?

Post-operational risks

The backbone is the hinge of our body. That is obvious, any intervention may appear dangerous, and if it is possible to avoid that, it’s the best way. One of the biggest risks is infection. The statistics say that 10% of people who had undergone surgery for a slipped disc in the lower back had an infection or other wound issues such as hematoma. The other risks may include:

  • nerves damaging during the operation;
  • excessive scar tissue in the cut area;
  • anesthesia complications: troubles with breathing, cardiac arrest, death;
  • the surgery may appear ineffective.

What about the other side? After an experienced specialist performs the procedure, you’ll feel relieved from all those bad days when you were dealing with constant pain. Any type of surgery may be full of risks, however when the illness is diagnosed correctly, all the preparations are done right, and you do everything that the doctor prescribes, you are on your way to a healthy body. Also, don’t forget to pay attention to the doctor’s qualification level and his patients’ success stories.

The recovery process

Those who have already agreed to the surgery should know what kind of recovery measures they would need. The slipped disc surgery recovery lasts about four weeks. You can also choose a rehabilitation program, it will definitely help you heal faster and get a better result. Anyway, it is an essential thing for any treatment process, so there is no need to worry about that. Not to mention that your food must be healthy, and, of course, you’ll have to forget about sport for at least two months.

Some statistics to cheer you up!

According to the study, the success rate for the operation is 78,9% among 39,048 patients. The same study reports a 94% long-term success rate for patients undergoing herniated cervical disc surgery. 

So, that means more than half of those who have undergone this procedure have been successfully operated on and got back to normal life.


All in all, injuries like a slipped disc involve multiple steps towards a healthy back. Different consultations with various specialists, a number of back area analyses, physical and moral preparation – all make the “fight” with trauma very difficult. Nobody wants to face something like that. However, such an illness is the reality of our current lifestyle. The inactive life, deficient muscle loading, and stress may make everything worse. So, it is very important to monitor your physical activity and be careful with your spine. 

However, if that has already happened and you are on your way towards the surgery, this article may come in handy. The most important thing right now for you is staying calm and imagining your beautiful future without pain. We’re sure you’ve chosen the best specialists to help you deal with the issue.

Stay healthy and optimistic – that really matters!

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