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Back surgery for trapped nerve release


About back surgery for trapped nerve release 

If you develop a trapped (sometimes called pinched) nerve in your back, it means that a nerve in your spine is being physically compressed. This can happen in different areas of your back for several different reasons, causing you to experience pain in different regions.

Side view of a section of the spine

When you develop a pinched nerve in the neck region of your spine it is called cervical radiculopathy, and causes pain to radiate down the arm supplied by that nerve. This can happen if you have a slipped disc, if you injure your back or from changes to your vertebrae as you age.

Spinal stenosis is another cause of pressure on nerves in your back. This is thought to happen when the canal in your spinal column narrows and compresses the nerves in the spinal cord. Spinal stenosis can occur in your neck area, or in your lower back, where it can lead to leg pain, pain in the buttocks and leg weakness. A slipped disc in the lower back can also compress nerves causing similar symptoms.

How can I prepare for back surgery for trapped nerve release?

When you are having surgery, you can prepare by taking a list of medications that you're using to give to your doctor.

If you’re having an endoscopic (keyhole) procedure, you will usually be treated as a day case. 

What happens during my back surgery?

There are several types of surgery for trapped nerve release in your back. The type of procedure that is best for you depends on what is causing the trapped nerve.

Talk to your doctor about the most appropriate type for you. Some of the options include:

  • Microdiscectomy. Using a microscope, your doctor will make a small incision in your back, allowing him or her to shave some of the disc away that is pressing on nearby nerves.
  • Percutaneous endoscopic laser discectomy. This is a type of 'keyhole' surgery. After a small incision is made in your back, a tiny laser at the end of a wire is inserted and used to remove a fragment of the slipped disc and reduce any pressure on nearby nerves.
  • Laminectomy. This is where some of the lamina, a bony arch at the back of each vertebra, is removed in your spine to make more room for the nerves.
  • Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. This is when a slipped disc is removed entirely to remove pressure from the pinched nerve. A piece of bone is taken from another area of the body and used to fill the gap.
  • Prosthetic intervertebral disc replacement. This is when a slipped disc is removed to relieve pressure on the pinched nerve, and replaced with an artificial one.

Are there any complications or risks?

Like any procedure, surgery for trapped nerve release carries some risks, including infection, bleeding or nerve injury. You should talk to your doctor about the risks involved with your procedure.

Recovering from back surgery for trapped nerve release

How fast you recover will vary depending on the type of surgery you have had. However, recovery is faster following keyhole surgery or microdiscectomy compared with open surgery.

The outcomes after a discectomy are generally positive and many people will be able to go back to work and do more daily activities. Following keyhole surgery, some people are able to return to work after 1 or 2 weeks. For other it may take up to 6 weeks or more.

Your doctor may recommend physiotherapy or exercises to help with your recovery.

How much does back surgery for trapped nerve release cost?

For a guide to what you could pay for your treatment, click here.

What to do now

Once you have decided that you would like to be treated at an HCA hospital, or would like further information, here's what to do next:

  1. Call one of our advisors on + 44 (0) 20 7079 4399 or complete our web enquiry form.
  2. Check with your insurance company that your policy covers your treatment, and obtain authorisation.
  3. Visit or call your GP to obtain a referral letter and then call us to make an appointment to visit your chosen consultant and hospital at a time to suit you.
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