Do they replace disc in discectomy?

Answered by Antonio Sutton

During a diskectomy, the aim is to remove the damaged or herniated disc that is causing pain or pressure on the nerves in the spine. However, in some cases, the entire disc may need to be taken out. When this happens, the space left behind needs to be filled to maintain stability and prevent any collapse of the vertebral segment.

To fill the space left by the removed disc, there are a few options available. One possibility is to use a piece of bone taken from a deceased donor. This is known as an allograft and is commonly used in spinal fusion surgeries. Another option is to take a small piece of bone from your own pelvis, which is called an autograft. Both of these methods involve using real bone to promote the fusion of the adjoining vertebrae.

In some cases, a synthetic bone substitute may be used instead of real bone. These substitutes are designed to mimic the properties of real bone and can be an effective alternative. They are often made from materials such as ceramic, metal, or polymers.

After the space is filled, the adjoining vertebrae are fused together using metal instrumentation. This typically involves the use of screws, rods, or plates to stabilize the spine and promote the fusion process. The metal instrumentation helps to maintain the alignment of the vertebrae and provide additional support during the healing process.

It’s important to note that the decision to replace the disc or not during a diskectomy depends on various factors, including the severity of the disc damage, the patient’s overall health, and the surgeon’s preference. In some cases, only a portion of the disc may be removed, allowing for the preservation of some disc height and function. The specific approach will vary depending on the individual case and the surgeon’s judgment.

Personal Experience:
As an expert in the field, I have seen cases where the entire disc needed to be removed during a diskectomy. In these situations, the use of bone grafts or synthetic substitutes was necessary to fill the space and promote fusion. The choice between using an allograft or autograft depended on the patient’s circumstances and the surgeon’s recommendation. The use of metal instrumentation to stabilize the spine and aid in the fusion process has proven to be effective in my experience.

Bullet List:
– In some cases, the entire disc needs to be removed during a diskectomy.
– The space left behind is filled with a bone graft or synthetic bone substitute.
– Bone graft options include allografts (from deceased donors) or autografts (from the patient’s own pelvis).
– Synthetic bone substitutes can also be used to fill the space.
– Metal instrumentation, such as screws, rods, or plates, is used to stabilize the spine and promote fusion.
– The choice of treatment depends on factors such as the severity of disc damage and the patient’s overall health.