Herniated disc surgery is the “bread and butter” for spine surgeons, but might not remain so. In the developed world, populations are rapidly aging, comorbidities are changing and the number of spine surgeons is shrinking.
A herniated or slipped disc is where one of the discs in the spine ruptures and the gel inside leaks (herniates) and causes back pain and sciatica. Once the nucleus herniates, pain in the lower back may improve, but sciatic leg pain increases. This is because the jelly-like material puts pressure on spinal nerves, which causes pain, numbness, or weakness in one or both legs.