How To Treat A Herniated Disc - Percutaneous Disc Decompression

Jul 24, 2023

Percutaneous Disc Decompression

Herniated discs can cause persisting, relentless pain that negatively impacts your daily routine. If physical therapy, medications, and other conservative treatments fail solve your herniated disc, percutaneous disc decompression may be the solution.

Percutaneous disc decompression, also known as percutaneous discectomy or percutaneous lumbar decompression, is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat certain types of herniated or bulging discs in the spine. It involves removing a portion of the damaged disc material to relieve pressure on the spinal nerves.


Who is a good candidate for percutaneous disc decompression? 

The suitability of percutaneous disc decompression as a treatment option depends on various factors, including the individual's specific condition and symptoms. While a pain medicine physician at Garden State Pain and Orthopedics can provide the most accurate assessment, most patients have a herniated or bulging disc that has not completely ruptured or extruded beyond the disc's outer layer. Patients with the herniated disc often experience leg or back pain accompanied by symptoms like numbness, tingling, or weakness.

Once conservative treatments such as physical therapy, medications, and spinal injections have exhausted, and a patient is still experiencing pain, percutaneous disc decompression may be suggested by your doctor. Most patients typically have failed other conservative treatments.


What happens in a percutaneous disc decompression?

Percutaneous disc decompression is a minimally invasive procedure performed under local anesthesia. Using X-ray guidance, a needle is inserted through a small incision to reach the affected disc. Specialized instruments are then used to remove the damaged disc material, relieving pressure on the spinal nerves. Additional steps may be taken to repair the disc's outer layer. After the procedure, the incision is closed, and patients recover faster than with open surgery. Percutaneous disc decompression can be discussed with a qualified Pain Medicine Specialist at Garden State Pain and Orthopedics to determine its suitability. 


What are the main benefits of percutaneous disc decompression? 

Minimally Invasive: Percutaneous disc decompression involves small incisions and specialized instruments, which results in less tissue damage, reduced scarring, and shorter recovery time. At Garden State Pain and Orthopedics it is performed on an outpatient basis, allowing patients to return home on the same day.

Relief from Pain: The primary goal of percutaneous disc decompression is to alleviate pain caused by nerve compression due to a herniated or bulging disc. By removing or reducing the pressure on the affected nerve, the procedure can provide significant pain relief. Many patients experience a reduction in leg or back pain, as well as a decrease in associated symptoms such as numbness, tingling, or weakness.

Quick Recovery: Percutaneous disc decompression generally has a shorter recovery period compared to traditional open surgery. Since it is a minimally invasive procedure, it often involves less postoperative pain, reduced reliance on pain medications, and a quicker return to daily activities. Most patients can resume light activities within a few days to weeks, depending on individual circumstances.

Reduced Risk of Complications: As a less invasive procedure, percutaneous disk decompression carries a lower risk of complications compared to open surgery. The risk of infection, bleeding, nerve damage, and other potential complications is generally minimized. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia, reducing the risks associated with general anesthesia.

Avoidance of Fusion Surgery: In certain cases, percutaneous disk decompression can help patients avoid more extensive spinal surgeries, such as spinal fusion. By decompressing the affected disc and relieving nerve pressure, the need for more invasive procedures may be eliminated. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals who prefer to explore conservative treatment options before considering more invasive surgical interventions.


It's important to note that percutaneous disk decompression may not be suitable for all types of spinal conditions or disc problems. The procedure is typically recommended for specific cases where the herniation or bulge is contained and certain criteria are met. It is essential to consult with a qualified spine specialist or neurosurgeon such as the providers at Garden State Pain and Orthopedics to determine if percutaneous disk decompression is appropriate for your individual condition. To learn more about our services visit our Services Page, or select “Book Now” to schedule an appointment with one of our Pain Medicine Physicians. 



Meet Pain Medicine Physician Dr. Neil Sinha

Dr. Neil Sinha provides comprehensive interventional pain medicine at Garden State Pain & Orthopedics, where he tailors individual treatment options to the unique needs of each patient. He believes that patient education and establishing a caring doctor-patient relationship are integral parts of the healing process. Dr. Sinha uses a multi-pronged approach to managing pain, including interventional pain techniques, minimally-invasive surgeries, medical management, and physical and behavioral therapy. His goal is to restore function and improve the quality of his patients’ lives, who are welcome at one of four office locations: Edison, Clifton, Hazlet, and Jersey City, New Jersey. 

Dr. Sinha is especially interested in treating cervical and lumbar pain, sciatica, spinal stenosis, and post-laminectomy syndrome. He also specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of complex regional pain syndrome, facial pain, and headaches. After earning his undergraduate degree in computational biology and mathematics at Cornell University, Dr. Sinha received his Doctor of Medicine from the New Jersey Medical School in Newark. He did his residency in anesthesiology at Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut. He completed his Interventional Pain Management Fellowship at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic Foundation. While there, Dr. Sinha trained in cutting-edge technology with leaders in the field of pain management. He was nominated and served as Chief Fellow and was awarded the Ethelee R. Smith Award for Most Outstanding Fellow. 

Dr. Sinha is board certified in anesthesiology and pain management and is licensed to practice medicine in Ohio, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. When he’s not helping patients achieve relief from their pain, Dr. Sinha is an avid sports fan who especially likes football, and he enjoys maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.