Ensuring You Get the Right Surgery Option for Your Condition


Microdiscectomy (or Laminotomy/Discectomy) is a “minimally invasive” outpatient procedure commonly used to treat symptomatic lumbar herniated discs and sciatica. Success rates are extremely high with results routinely in the 90-95% excellent range. Microdiscectomy is considered the “gold standard” treatment for persistent symptomatic lumbar herniated discs and sciatica.

Microdiscectomy is a “minimally invasive” technique that uses a very small incision which minimizes trauma to normal tissues and maximizes quick recovery. Microdiscectomy can dramatically relieve the radiating leg pain, numbness, and muscle weakness caused by lumbar disc herniations. It is quite common for our patients to report significant reductions in leg pain immediately in the recovery room.

Mark Nelson, M.D. specializes in Microdiscectomy and other treatments for lumbar herniated discs and other causes of sciatica. Many of our patients are athletes or have high physical work demands, and are able to return to competitive sports and demanding work
after Microdiscectomy.

Mark Nelson, M. D.


Dr. Mark Nelson specializes in Laminectomy and other procedures for Sciatica and Spinal Stenosis.

Laminectomy is the “gold standard” treatment for symptomatic Lumbar Spinal Stenosis with Sciatica or Neurogenic Claudication. Laminectomy frequently results in dramatic relief from the radiating leg pain, numbness, and weakness associated with spinal stenosis and nerve root compression. It is quite common for patients to report significant improvements in their leg symptoms as early as the next day after surgery!

Laminectomy removes pathologic tissues and a small piece of lamina bone compressing the nerves thus eliminating the spinal stenosis and allowing the nerves to expand normally. Many patients ask if the small lamina bone will be missed. Removing the lamina is similar to removing an appendix, or gallbladder—they have some purpose when they are healthy, but it’s best to get them out when they are causing pain!

Laminectomy is a highly successful procedure for many patients with symptomatic spinal stenosis. In some cases, the symptoms of spinal stenosis can be successfully treated with non-surgical treatments such as medications or epidural steroid injections.

Lumbar Fusion

Lumbar fusion is a common technique used to treat Sciatica associated with unstable spine conditions such as spondylolisthesis. Lumbar Fusion can be accomplished using a variety of “minimally invasive” techniques.

Lumbar Fusion is frequently combined with Lumbar Laminectomy to decompress pinched nerves and stabilize the vertebral bones to prevent further nerve compression. These combined procedures enjoy high success rates in relieving back and radiating leg pain common to spondylolisthesis.

Mark Nelson, M.D. specializes in the treatment of Spondylolisthesis and Lumbar Fusion. A consultation with Dr. Nelson is an opportunity to learn about your condition, and the surgical and non-surgical options available to you.

Mark Nelson, M. D.
Mark Nelson, M. D.

Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF)

Anterior Cervical Discectomy (ACDF) is a procedure that removes herniated disc material and bone spurs that compress and irritate the nerve roots and spinal cord, and may cause radiating arm pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness. It enjoys very high success rates, and can dramatically relieve radiating arm pain, numbness and tingling, and restore strength and function.

Anterior Cervical Discectomy with Fusion (ACDF) is the historical “gold standard” procedure, and still remains a very good choice in many circumstances. Anterior Cervical Discectomy with Disc Replacement or Disc Arthroplasty is an alternative newer procedure that replaces the diseased disc with a mobile implant that allows for continued motion, and avoids fusion.

Both of theses procedures enjoy very high success rates. A consultation with Dr. Nelson is the best way to learn about your options, and discuss the best option for you.”

Cervical Disc Replacement

Cervical Disc surgery is very successful at relieving radiating nerve pain and restoring function.

Cervical Disc Replacement (also called “Cervical Disc Arthroplasty” or “Cervical Artificial Disc”) has evolved as an excellent alternative to fusion. This procedure involves replacing a diseased disc with a mobile implant designed to mimic normal neck motion and avoid fusion. Disc Replacement has proven to be an excellent alternative in many cases of symptomatic Cervical Disc Herniations, Cervical Radiculopathy, Cervical Disc Disease, and Cervical Stenosis.

Historically, surgery in the cervical spine frequently required a fusion surgery—usually called an Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion or ACDF. Although cervical fusion procedures enjoy very good results and remain a good option in some circumstances, they may result in increased neck stiffness and may accelerate degeneration at adjacent discs.

An office consultation with Dr. Nelson is the best way to discuss all of your options and decide if Disc Replacement is the best
option for you.