Disc prolapse surgery

A slipped disc or prolapsed disc can cause pain, weakness, and disability. Many disc problems gradually get better with rest, physiotherapy, and pain relief.


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What is it for?

Spinal surgery for a prolapsed disc

Treatment overview

If your disc prolapse is affecting your wellbeing and quality of life, The London Clinic can provide expert treatment.

The internationally renowned spinal surgeons provide specialist disc prolapse surgery, and we offer a comfortable, supportive environment in which to recover.

Spinal disc prolapse or herniation happens when the soft tissue cushion between the spinal bones slips out of position.

The tissue pad can press on nerves, resulting in weakness and pain in the back, buttocks, groin, and legs.

The London Clinic is a centre of excellence for orthopaedic surgery.

The expert surgeons provide a bespoke spinal surgery service to treat pain and restore your back's strength, mobility, and function. 

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Why choose The London Clinic

Excellence in one place

We operate as teams of experts with world-class resources dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of medical care. You are surrounded by the latest treatments and advice with everything you need to get back to your best health.

Personal care, every time

Exceptional patient care is a way of life for us. Our nurses, clinicians and support teams are dedicated to the care of a very small number of patients, so have more time for you. They’ll be with you every step of the way, tailoring your care around you and giving the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing you’re in the best hands.

Effortlessly simple

We work together as one to guide you through each step of your experience, with complexities unravelled and answers readily to hand. Your personal treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.

What's included in your package?

Choosing The London Clinic means your treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.


Your treatment package will include:

  • Enhanced pre-admission assessment
  • Your treatment with our complete care team at your fingertips
  • Personalised aftercare and follow-up

We want you to be in control of your health. That’s why we also offer optional services such as comprehensive recovery packages and extra touches for you to choose from during your stay with us.

How to pay

  • You can use private medical insurance (PMI) to access this treatment. We work with all major PMI providers in the UK and many internationally
  • You can pay for yourself (self-pay)
  • If you’re paying for yourself, we have finance options available with Chrysalis


Slipped disc, prolapsed disc, and herniated disc are all different names for the same problem.

Not all back pain is due to disc problems. Sprains, strains, and muscle spasm can also cause significant discomfort.

Disc prolapse is characterised by:

  • Pain in the lower back or neck
  • Stiffness and reduced movement; it can be difficult to bend down or straighten the back
  • Tingling or numbness in the back, limbs, hands, feet or shoulders, depending on the location of the displaced disc
  • • Muscle weakness
  • Pain spreading into the buttocks, hips, groin, or legs. This happens when the disc presses on the sciatic nerve and is known as sciatica
  • Severe disc herniation in the lower back can affect a bundle of nerves in the area resulting in weakness, numbness in the genitals, and incontinence. This is called Cauda Equina Syndrome and is a serious problem that requires urgent expert care.

If you are worried about back pain, see your GP or contact The London Clinic for assessment, tests, and treatment.

The London Clinic has a multi-disciplinary team of spinal surgeons, neurologists, and physiotherapists that specialise in the investigation and treatment of disc prolapse and back pain. 

At your initial consultation, your orthopaedic consultant will take a careful history, examine your back, and find out the impact your pain is having on your lifestyle.

They will arrange tests to diagnose your back problem and develop a customised treatment plan.

Our state-of-the-art imaging suite offers the latest diagnostic tests. These include:

  • MRI scanning
  • Myelography
  • CT scanning
  • X-Ray 
  • Discography

Using the findings from the consultation, examination, and tests, your consultant will plan a treatment programme. 

Education on posture and safe lifting techniques, anti-inflammatory medication, weight control, physiotherapy, and spinal injections can ease discomfort for many people.

However, for people with severe, unremitting, or recurrent pain, spinal decompression surgery is needed to reduce pressure on the nerves, decrease discomfort, and improve movement and function. 

At The London Clinic, your specialist surgeon will perform disc prolapse surgery under general anaesthetic.

You will be unconscious, pain-free, and supported by an experienced consultant anaesthetist throughout the procedure.

Admission will be the day before surgery or on the morning of your procedure. Your specialist team will give you individual advice on preparing for surgery and when to stop eating and drinking.

The specific procedure will depend on your operation. Disc prolapse surgery at The London Clinic can include:


Specialist back surgery to remove the damaged intervertebral disc or excise the diseased part of a disc.


Minimally invasive surgery to treat a prolapsed disc. This keyhole technique offers a smaller scar and a quicker recovery. 

Spinal fusion

Spinal fusion is surgery to join two or more of the spinal bones together using a bone graft. This reduces movement and flexibility but decreases pain.

Lumbar spine stabilisation

A specialist procedure performed in conjunction with Spinal Fusion. The surgeon implants screws, plates, or rods to support the fused vertebrae and maintain spinal flexibility. 

Vertebral disc prosthesis

The surgeon inserts a high-tech prosthetic device to replace the damaged disc.


An operation to remove a segment of bone from one or more of the spinal bones. The procedure helps reduce any compression or pinching of the nerves.

Your recovery following disc prolapse surgery will depend on the type of operation, the number of discs treated, and your general health. After surgery, you will experience some discomfort and difficulty moving.

However, the team will provide pain-relief to reduce pain and help you get up and about.

You will usually be able to go home the day after your operation. Your surgeon and the expert multi-disciplinary team will provide a personalised plan of recovery and rehabilitation. 

The physiotherapists have access to cutting-edge facilities, including a gym and aquatic therapy suite.

They'll also give you a home exercise programme to help strengthen your muscles, reduce stiffness, and restore your mobility and confidence.

The team will arrange appointments to remove any stitches and check your progress.

If you have problems or concerns at any time, the staff at The London Clinic are always available to offer support and guidance.


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