Almost everyone suffer from low back pain now and then. Usually it's just a muscle strain that gets better on it's own. But sometimes that pain, caused by a slipped disc, persists and becomes unbearable. That's when surgery may help. Doctors at Mayo Clinic use a new procedure that gets people back on their feet faster than standard surgery.
"This particular technique is really for a patient who hasn't had a previous disc surgery, and who has a well-defined herniated disc," says Dr. Williams Krauss, a Mayo Clinic Neurosurgeon. Instead of stripping away muscle, which causes a lot of pain in recover, Dr. Krauss guides a small tube through muscle to the damaged disc. Once there, he uses tiny tools to remove the part of the disc that's bulging. No big incision. The only visible sign of surgery afterwards is a band-aid.
Dr. Krauss says this type of minimally invasive disc surgery is not right for all patients. But those who would benefit can expect a 90 percent chance of being pain-free afterwards.
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