A herniated disc – also called a ruptured disc – is when the firm outer exterior of a spinal disc develops a crack, or herniates, and thereby allows some of the softer interior to leak out and irritate the adjacent nerves. The condition can only be firmly determined via a diagnostic procedure.
This leakage may or may not cause symptoms, but most patients who have a herniated disc do experience symptoms. These may include lower back pain that radiates down to the legs and feet, or pain in the neck that radiates to the shoulder and arm. The symptoms will depend on the location of the nerve(s) being irritated by the herniation.
For some people, a herniated disc may resolve and heal on its own. But for others, the herniated disc may require surgical intervention in order to heal fully and properly.
What Can Be Done for a Herniated Disc?
There are a number of options for treating a herniated disc, and your orthopedic surgeon would normally only recommend surgery after conservative treatment methods have been exhausted. Let’s talk about a few of the treatment methods most commonly used to address a herniated disc:
A microdiscectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of part of the herniated disc that is pressing on the spinal cord or nerve, causing chronic irritation and pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness. Today, a microdiscectomy may be performed via minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery, which involves the use of miniature tools – making it an efficient procedure from which patients can recover very quickly. It is usually an outpatient procedure.
The surgeon may also recommend a laminectomy if the discs are damaged because of wear-and-tear or disease. A laminectomy involves the removal of the lamina, which is part of a vertebra that may be pressing against the spinal cord.
This may also be a solution to back pain if the spine has broken bone fragments, tissues that have torn, or bone spurs that have formed on the lamina. Similar to a microdiscectomy, this treatment is performed to ease pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.
If surgery is not an option or you prefer nonsurgical treatment methods, your orthopedist may provide corticosteroid pain-relief injection treatment. This involves the orthopedic physician injecting a steroidal solution directly into the affected area of the spine in order to provide a numbing effect, so you no longer feel the pain. This treatment will likely have to be repeated every few months while your disc heals, or to provide effective pain relief.
Top Spine Surgeon in Dover, New Jersey
Our spine surgeons at the Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey specialize in performing both nonsurgical back treatments and highly advanced spine surgeries to treat a wide range of conditions that affect the spine. You don’t have to keep suffering through radiating neck pain or back pain.
Let us help relieve your pain for good. To request an appointment with one of our spine surgeons, call the Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey today at (973) 989-0888 or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to serving you at our Dover orthopedic facility.