When surgery is the best solution

Most patients, suffering from a herniated lumbar disc,  will recover by means of natural healing, assisted by proper advice, pain medication and proper exercises. However, for a small group of patients, with severe disabling leg pain, failing to improve by themselves, surgery may be the best solution. Some patients have a rather dramatic perspective on how a herniated disc is removed surgically. In the video below, you can see how the procedure is performed, in the university hospital of Aalborg, Denmark.


Pain relieving exercises, assisted by pain medication and proper advice, is the first choice of treatment for lumbar disc herniations, recommended by clinical guidelines. There are situations though, where surgical removal of the herniated disc material, is the best way to secure the healing of the nerve. In situations where the patient have been suffering from severe, disabling leg pains, for more than three months, in spite of proper conservative care, danish clinical guidelines recommend that the patient consult a spine surgeon. The decision to perform surgery on the patient, shown in the video, was based on shared decision making by the patient, the surgeon Dr. Steiness, and the physical therapist who had tested whether this patients pain could be removed by exercises.


I this video clip, you can see how the actual herniated disc material is removed by Dr. Steiness, founder of the Pocket Spine Doc App, and head of Spine Section, Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital of Aalborg. The video is filmed through the microscope, the surgeon utilises during the procedure. You can see three different instruments in the surgical field. Instrument 1 is used to secure the spinal nerves, instrument 2 is suction, to remove fluid and blood, and instrument 3 is the kerrison used to remove the disc herniation.


As mentioned, pain relieving exercises is the number one choice of treatment for this type of pain. Download the Pocket Spine Doc App from GOOGLE PLAY or iOS APP STORE for pain relieving exercise instructions.