PELD: The Best Treatment for Herniated Disc

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Herniated discs are a common cause of back pain and discomfort, affecting many individuals worldwide. Traditional treatments range from conservative management to invasive surgeries, but advancements in medical technology have introduced a less invasive and highly effective option: Percutaneous Endoscopic Lumbar Discectomy (PELD). This comprehensive guide explores why PELD is considered the best treatment for herniated discs, focusing on its benefits, procedure, recovery, and the availability of PELD surgery in Kerala.

Understanding Herniated Discs

What is a Herniated Disc?

A herniated disc, also known as a slipped or ruptured disc, occurs when the soft inner gel of a spinal disc pushes through a crack in the tougher outer layer. This can irritate nearby nerves, leading to pain, numbness, or weakness in an arm or leg.

Symptoms of a Herniated Disc

The symptoms of a herniated disc vary depending on the location and severity of the herniation but commonly include:

  • Back Pain: Persistent pain in the lower back.
  • Leg Pain (Sciatica): Pain radiating down the leg.
  • Numbness or Tingling: In the affected area, often in the lower extremities.
  • Weakness: In the muscles served by the affected nerves.
  • Loss of Mobility: Difficulty in performing everyday activities due to pain.

Causes of Herniated Discs

Herniated discs can result from various factors, including:

  • Degenerative Disc Disease: Age-related wear and tear on the spine.
  • Injury or Trauma: Sudden impact or lifting heavy objects improperly.
  • Genetics: A family history of disc herniation.
  • Poor Posture: Sustained poor posture can strain the spine.
  • Lifestyle Factors: Lack of exercise, obesity, and smoking can increase the risk.

Traditional Treatments for Herniated Discs

Conservative Management

  • Physical Therapy: Exercises to strengthen the muscles around the spine.
  • Medications: Pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, and muscle relaxants.
  • Epidural Steroid Injections: Reduce inflammation around the affected nerves.
  • Rest and Lifestyle Modifications: Avoiding activities that exacerbate symptoms and maintaining a healthy weight.

Surgical Interventions

When conservative treatments fail, surgery may be recommended. Traditional surgical options include:

  • Microdiscectomy: A minimally invasive procedure where a small portion of the herniated disc is removed.
  • Laminectomy: Removal of part of the vertebrae to relieve pressure on the nerves.
  • Spinal Fusion: Fusing two or more vertebrae to stabilize the spine.

While these surgeries can be effective, they often involve significant recovery time and potential complications. This is where PELD offers a superior alternative.

What is PELD (Percutaneous Endoscopic Lumbar Discectomy)?

Overview of PELD

PELD is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to treat herniated discs. It involves the use of an endoscope—a thin, flexible tube with a camera and light at the end—to visualize and remove the herniated portion of the disc through a small incision.

Procedure of PELD

  1. Preparation: The patient is given local anesthesia to numb the area. This minimizes the risks associated with general anesthesia.
  2. Incision: A small incision (about 7-10 mm) is made near the affected disc.
  3. Endoscope Insertion: The endoscope is inserted through the incision to reach the herniated disc.
  4. Visualization and Removal: The surgeon uses the endoscope to visualize the herniated disc and surrounding structures. Specialized instruments are used to remove the herniated portion of the disc.
  5. Closure: The incision is closed with minimal suturing.

Benefits of PELD

  • Minimally Invasive: Small incision reduces tissue damage and scarring.
  • Shorter Recovery Time: Patients typically experience quicker recovery compared to traditional surgery.
  • Local Anesthesia: Reduced risks associated with general anesthesia.
  • Outpatient Procedure: Most patients can go home the same day.
  • Less Pain: Reduced postoperative pain and discomfort.
  • High Success Rate: Effective in relieving symptoms and improving quality of life.

Why Choose PELD Surgery in Kerala?

Advanced Medical Facilities

Kerala is home to some of the most advanced medical facilities in India, equipped with state-of-the-art technology and highly skilled medical professionals. These facilities offer comprehensive care and cutting-edge treatments for a wide range of medical conditions, including herniated discs.

Expert Surgeons

Kerala boasts a pool of experienced and internationally trained spine surgeons who specialize in minimally invasive procedures like PELD. These experts are well-versed in the latest surgical techniques and committed to providing the best possible care.

Affordable Healthcare

One of the significant advantages of choosing PELD surgery in Kerala is the affordability of medical treatments without compromising on quality. Patients can access world-class healthcare services at a fraction of the cost compared to Western countries.

Comprehensive Care

Hospitals in Kerala offer a holistic approach to patient care, including preoperative consultations, personalized treatment plans, postoperative follow-ups, and rehabilitation services. This comprehensive care ensures optimal outcomes and patient satisfaction.

Medical Tourism Hub

Kerala has emerged as a leading destination for medical tourism, attracting patients from around the globe. The state’s beautiful landscapes, pleasant climate, and rich cultural heritage provide a serene environment for recovery.

Preparing for PELD Surgery

Preoperative Consultation

Before undergoing PELD surgery, patients will have a detailed consultation with their surgeon to discuss their medical history, symptoms, and treatment options. The surgeon will perform a thorough physical examination and may order imaging tests such as MRI or CT scans to assess the extent of the herniation.

Preoperative Instructions

Patients will receive specific instructions to prepare for surgery, which may include:

  • Medication Adjustments: Certain medications may need to be stopped or adjusted before surgery.
  • Fasting: Patients may be advised to fast for a certain period before the procedure.
  • Lifestyle Modifications: Recommendations for exercise, diet, and smoking cessation to optimize health before surgery.

Recovery After PELD Surgery

Postoperative Care

After the procedure, patients will be monitored in a recovery area for a few hours. Most patients can return home the same day. Postoperative care instructions will include:

  • Pain Management: Prescribed medications to manage pain and discomfort.
  • Activity Restrictions: Guidelines on physical activity and lifting restrictions to promote healing.
  • Wound Care: Instructions on keeping the incision site clean and dry.

Rehabilitation and Follow-Up

Patients will have follow-up appointments with their surgeon to monitor healing and progress. A tailored rehabilitation program, including physical therapy, may be recommended to strengthen the back muscles and prevent future issues.

Expected Outcomes

Most patients experience significant relief from symptoms and can resume normal activities within a few weeks. The minimally invasive nature of PELD ensures a quicker recovery and a higherlikelihood of a successful outcome compared to traditional surgery.


PELD represents a significant advancement in the treatment of herniated discs, offering a minimally invasive, highly effective alternative to traditional surgery. Its numerous benefits, including reduced pain, shorter recovery time, and high success rates, make it the best treatment option for many patients.

For those considering PELD surgery, Kerala stands out as an ideal destination, offering advanced medical facilities, expert surgeons, affordable healthcare, and comprehensive patient care. Consulting a cardiac hospital in Kannur can provide access to specialized care and ensure optimal outcomes for patients seeking relief from herniated disc symptoms.

Choosing PELD surgery in Kerala not only ensures access to top-notch medical care but also provides a serene environment for recovery, enhancing the overall treatment experience. By taking proactive steps towards treatment and recovery, patients can look forward to improved quality of life and long-term spinal health.