Slipped Disc Surgery

Surgery for a slipped disc is necessary when conservative treatment options has failed to relieve symptoms such as pain in the back or neck, or pain that radiates to the arms or legs. A slipped disc occurs when the soft gel-like tissue between the bones of the spine is moved out of place and starts pressing on adjacent nerves. In most cases, slipped discs are caused by wear and tear or trauma to the spine.

This condition is also known as herniated disc, ruptured disc, or prolapsed disc. The most common affected area is the lower back, but many discs along the spine can slip, including those in the neck. While the majority of cases don’t call for surgery, severe cases or when there is evidence of muscle malfunction, surgery may be needed.

When Is Slipped Disc Surgery Done

In many cases, slipped discs can get better with conservative treatment and time. If conservative treatment is not effective, spine surgery may be necessary. Surgery may also be a viable option if symptoms like lower back pain, numbness in shoulders, arms, or legs, unexpected muscle weakness, and problems bending or twisting your back are severe or worsen over time.

Slipped disc surgery may involve the removal of the portion of the disc pressing on the nerves or nerve roots, along with other procedures.

Traditional Open Back Surgery and Spinal Fusion for Slipped Disc

“Open” spine surgery is the traditional surgical approach to treating a slipped disc. There are many disadvantages and risks associated with this type of procedure. In this approach, a surgeon creates space by removing the part of the vertebra- that lamina- that covers your spinal canal and/or part of the disc. This procedure enlarges the spinal canal and relieves pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves that pass through it. Traditional open spine surgery has a long recuperation time due to extensive dissection of muscles and tissues to access the area.

Spinal fusion surgeries use bone grafts and/or hardware to permanently “lock” together two or more vertebrae for the purpose of making a section of the spine thought to be producing pain symptoms immobile. After a fusion surgery, the patient will likely lose the ability to move his/her spine at the level where the procedure was done. This puts extra pressure on adjacent vertebrae, forcing the intervertebral discs to breakdown, which can lead to a condition known as adjacent segment disease.

Traditional open back surgery and spinal fusions often require an extensive dissection of muscle tissue, several days of hospitalization, and an often painful and long recovery. Failed back surgery syndrome is common in traditional open back surgery and spinal fusions with about 60% of patients experiencing failed back surgery symptoms.

The Bonati Spine Institute strongly recommends against open spine surgery and spinal fusions and implants, since these procedures result in high failure rates.

The Bonati Spine Procedures for Slipped Disc

The Bonati Spine Procedures are safe and effective alternatives to traditional open back surgery and spinal fusions. The Bonati Spine Procedures have been shown to be highly effective in decompressing the nerves without fusions to treat spinal conditions and very successful in avoiding adjacent segments disease.

The Bonati Spine Procedures do not require general anesthesia. Using conscious IV sedation and local anesthesia, the patient is comfortable, and responsive and maintains the ability to provide feedback to the surgeons throughout the procedure. The procedures are outpatient and no hospital stay is necessary. There is a short recovery time and patients are able to get back to their normal daily activities within days.

The goal of slipped disc surgery is to alleviate the pain and resolve the underlying problem. The Bonati Spine Institute offers an array of procedures to treat a slipped disc, which may include:


This is perhaps the most common surgical approach to treat slipped discs. A small incision is made and a series of tubes are inserted to view the surgical area using endoscopic assistance. A portion of the herniated disc is removed to release pressure from the spinal nerves and/or spinal nerve roots.


A laminectomy is a decompressing surgery that relieves pressure on the spinal nerves. This procedure is performed one vertebral level at a time, to address the primary cause of the pain first. A laminectomy is performed through a small opening through which a series of tubes are introduced to accommodate surgical tools and imaging equipment. The lamina is then accessed through an arthroscope, and small portions of the lamina are removed to release the pressure from the spinal nerves.


Foramina are small openings present between every pair of vertebrae in the spine. If a part of the foramen is pressing on a nerve as it leaves the vertebral opening, a Foraminectomy may be performed. This procedure uses local anesthesia and conscious IV sedation to allow surgeons to target the source of the pain with precise accuracy. The tissue compressing the nerves is removed with a set of surgical instruments inserted through a very small incision.

Before Surgery

It is important to be in your best physical and mental health possible before a surgery. To assure this, maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine. Before any surgery, you may be asked to stop taking certain medications, and stop smoking. Medications to avoid include:

  • Advil
  • Anaprox
  • Coricidin
  • Aspirin
  • Excedrin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Naprosyn
  • Voltaren

Make sure you have a companion who can drive you and stay during the surgery and the first night. Pack loose-fitting, comfortable clothing, preferably something that can be zipped or buttoned.

During Surgery

During surgery general anesthesia is not used, instead, local anesthesia and conscious IV sedation are used by the surgical team. With this approach, the patient is responsive, comfortable, and able to provide feedback to the doctors throughout the procedure without feeling any pain or discomfort. While in the operating room, the surgical team will confirm the patient is able to complete a series of mobility exercises and verify that the pain has been successfully treated.

After Surgery

After the procedure, the patient is transferred to postoperative care for rest and observation. Later on a postoperative consultation will determine if additional procedures are necessary. During this time, most patients are given a walking regimen schedule to start the healing process.

Recovery Time from Slipped Disc Surgery

Recovery time after slipped disc surgery varies from patient to patient. Every patient, every slipped disc, every circumstance is different. The Bonati Spine Procedures allow for faster recovery so most patients resume their everyday life within days.

The success rate for slipped disc surgery is generally high. Patented Bonati Spine Procedures have a 98.75% patient satisfaction rate. Our procedures offer a lower risk of complications and infections by limiting the damage to surrounding areas.