Treatment Duration

30 Minutes


1 hour

Treatment Cost

Rs 1,40,000


Rs 2,00,000

Discectomy: A Comprehensive Guide to Spinal Disc Surgery

Discectomy is a surgical procedure that is often used to treat debilitating back pain and neurological symptoms caused by a herniated or damaged intervertebral disc in the spine. This minimally invasive surgery aims to relieve pressure on spinal nerves and alleviate associated symptoms. In this article, we will delve into the details of discectomy, including what it is, who may require it, how it is performed, what to expect post-surgery, the cost in top Indian hospitals, potential risks of avoiding it, and the numerous benefits of this treatment.

What Is Discectomy?

Discectomy is a surgical procedure performed to remove a portion of an intervertebral disc in the spine, specifically the nucleus pulposus, which may be herniated or damaged. The intervertebral discs act as cushions between the vertebrae, providing flexibility and absorbing shock during movements. When a disc herniates or degenerates, it can exert pressure on adjacent nerves, causing severe pain, weakness, and numbness.

Who Needs Discectomy?

Discectomy is typically recommended for individuals who experience persistent and debilitating symptoms due to a herniated disc or spinal stenosis. Common indications for this surgery include:

1.Herniated Disc: When the inner part of an intervertebral disc pushes through the outer ring, compressing nearby nerves and causing pain, tingling, or weakness.

2.Spinal Stenosis: Narrowing of the spinal canal, often due to age-related changes, leading to pressure on spinal nerves and resulting in pain and discomfort.

3.Sciatica: Severe leg pain caused by compression of the sciatic nerve, which often originates from a herniated disc.

4.Neurological Symptoms: When conservative treatments such as physical therapy or medications fail to relieve neurological symptoms, such as muscle weakness or loss of bowel/bladder control.

5.Chronic Pain: Persistent and severe back or leg pain that significantly impairs daily activities and quality of life.

How Is Discectomy Performed?

Discectomy can be performed using different techniques, but the goal remains the same: to remove the damaged or herniated portion of the intervertebral disc. Here is an overview of the surgical process:

- Anesthesia: The patient is placed under general or local anesthesia to ensure they are comfortable and pain-free during the procedure.

- Incision: A small incision is made over the affected area of the spine. Surgeons may use minimally invasive techniques, such as microdiscectomy, which involve smaller incisions and less tissue disruption.

- Removal of Disc Material: The surgeon carefully removes the herniated or damaged disc material, relieving pressure on the spinal nerves.

- Closure: The incision is closed using sutures or staples, and the patient is monitored as they wake up from anesthesia.

What to Expect From This Surgery?

After undergoing discectomy, patients can expect several outcomes:

Pain Relief:

Relief from the pain and symptoms associated with the herniated disc is often immediate or experienced within a few days after the surgery.

Improved Mobility:

As the pressure on spinal nerves decreases, patients may notice improved mobility and functionality.

Recovery Period:

Recovery time varies, but most patients can return to light activities within a few weeks and resume normal activities within a few months.

Physical Therapy:

Post-surgery rehabilitation may include physical therapy to strengthen the back and prevent future issues.

Possible Risks:

While discectomy is generally safe, there can be risks such as infection, bleeding, or recurrence of symptoms.

What Is the Cost in Top Indian Hospitals?

The cost of discectomy in top Indian hospitals can vary depending on factors such as the hospital's location, the surgeon's expertise, the specific technique used, and the patient's overall health. On average, the cost can range from INR 1,00,000 to INR 3,00,000 or more. Patients are encouraged to consult with their healthcare provider and discuss cost estimates before undergoing the surgery.

Risks of Not Getting Discectomy

Delaying or avoiding discectomy when it is medically indicated can lead to several risks:

- Worsening Symptoms: Herniated discs can worsen over time, leading to more severe pain, numbness, and weakness.

- Permanent Nerve Damage: Prolonged pressure on spinal nerves can result in irreversible nerve damage and loss of function.

- Decreased Quality of Life: Chronic pain and limited mobility can significantly impact one's quality of life, affecting work, daily activities, and overall well-being.

- Risk of Other Complications: Untreated disc herniations can lead to complications such as muscle atrophy, incontinence, and even paralysis in severe cases.

Benefits of Discectomy

Discectomy offers numerous benefits to individuals suffering from disc-related spinal issues:

Pain Relief:

Most patients experience significant pain relief and improved quality of life after the surgery.

Improved Functionality:

Restored mobility and the ability to engage in everyday activities without pain.

Reduced Medication Dependency:

Many patients can reduce or eliminate the need for pain medications following discectomy.

Prevention of Complications:

The surgery can prevent further nerve damage and complications associated with untreated disc herniations.

Enhanced Long-Term Outcomes:

Properly performed discectomy can lead to better long-term outcomes and a reduced risk of recurrent symptoms.


Discectomy is a valuable surgical procedure for individuals suffering from the debilitating effects of herniated or damaged spinal discs. It offers relief from pain, improves functionality, and enhances overall quality of life. Understanding the procedure, its benefits, and potential risks is crucial for making informed decisions about spinal disc surgery. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance and recommendations tailored to your specific condition.


Discectomy is one treatment option. Conservative treatments like physical therapy and medications are also considered, but surgery is recommended for severe cases.

The duration of discectomy varies but typically takes between 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the complexity of the case.

Physical therapy is often recommended to help strengthen your back and improve mobility during the recovery process.

While recurrence is possible, the risk is lower with proper post-surgery care and lifestyle modifications.

The time it takes to return to work depends on the nature of your job and your recovery progress. Typically, patients can return to light work within a few weeks.

Initially, you may need to avoid strenuous activities, but most patients can gradually resume normal activities as they recover.

Many health insurance plans in India cover discectomy, but it's important to check with your insurance provider for specific details.

Your surgeon will provide guidance on when it's safe to resume driving, typically after a few weeks and when you are off pain medications.

There are typically no specific dietary restrictions, but maintaining a balanced diet can aid in the healing process.

Discectomy is most effective for herniations that cause severe pain and neurological symptoms. Your surgeon will determine its suitability based on your condition.

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