A slipped disc, also called a prolapsed or herniated disc, occurs when one of the discs of the spine is ruptured (splits) and the gel inside leaks out. This causes back pain and can also cause pain in other areas of the body.
The discs are made from a tough, fibrous case, which contains a softer, gel-like substance. A slipped disc occurs when the outer part of the disc ruptures (splits), allowing the gel inside to bulge and protrude outwards between the vertebrae.
The damaged disc can put pressure on the whole spinal cord or on a single nerve fibre. This means that a slipped disc can cause pain both in the area of the protruding disc and in any part of the body that is controlled by the nerve that the disc is pressing on.
A Discectomy (also called open discectomy) is the surgical removal of herniated disc material that presses on a nerve root or the spinal cord. The procedure involves removing the central portion of an intervertebral disc, the nucleus pulposus, which causes pain by stressing the spinal cord or radiating nerves. Advances in options have produced effective alternatives to traditional discectomy procedures (i.e.Microdiscectomy, Endoscopic Discectomy, and Laser Discectomy). In conjunction with the traditional discectomy, a laminectomy is often involved to permit access to the intervertebral disc. In this procedure, a small piece of bone (the lamina) is removed from the affected vertebra, allowing the surgeon to better see and access the area of disc herniation.