Find out what’s involved in surgery to treat a herniated (bulging) disc.

For this article about surgery to relieve the pain of a herniated or bulging disc, I consulted with Dr. P. Justin Tortolani, from MedStar Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore. Dr. Tortolani is an orthopedic surgeon and spine specialist.

“What we’re doing is called a microdiscectomy and it takes about 45 minutes to an hour to perform,” says Dr. Tortolani.

“It’s accomplished through a small incision and generally, patients are discharged the same day with a 2-3 week recovery period.  Their daily activities are restricted somewhat.”

“Specifically, what is done is to create a small window opening in the spinal column and that’s called foraminotomy, and then after that the portion that is herniated is removed or excised. Usually we’re not touching the remainder of the disc itself and just removing the portion that is herniated.”