Herniated disc refers to a problem with one of the rubbery cushions (discs) between the individual bones (vertebrae) that stack up to make your spine. The discs comprise a hard outer ring, known as the annulus fibrosis, and a soft inner ring, called the nucleus pulposus. The spinal disc in a young individual is soft and elastic. It becomes more rigid with age and gradually erodes its elasticity and become more vulnerable to injury. Should the disc become damaged through incorrect lifting or trauma, then the resultant damaged walls of the annulus cannot prevent the soft, central portion (the nucleus) to bulge out and press on the adjacent spinal nerves that exit the spine at the level of the disc herniation, resulting in back or neck and pain, or weakness of the upper or lower extremity muscles. Burak Ozgur, MD offers the latest diagnostic aids and treatments to help you deal with your back pain.
When spinal discs are damaged by injury, disease or the normal wear and tear associated with aging, they may bulge out of place (herniate) or break open (rupture). A herniated disc alone may not cause discomfort. Pain occurs when pressure is put on the nerve roots or spinal cord. Depending on the location of the herniated disc, symptoms will occur in the area of the body affected by the nerve.
Some common and serious symptoms may include:
- Numbness and tingling (“pins and needles” sensation)
- Weakness of functional hand movements.
- Pain that is severe or that has become dramatically worse
- Progressive weakness in a leg or foot
- Difficulty walking, standing, or moving
- Numbness in the genital or rectal area
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Difficulty with urination
Burak Ozgur, MD’s diagnosis focuses on determining the source of a your pain and involves more than just the findings from a diagnostic test, such as an MRI scan or CT scan. It’s a combination of findings from a thorough medical history, conducting a complete physical exam, and, if appropriate, conducting one or more diagnostic tests.
Disc herniation can often be resolved successfully without surgery. One or a combination of treatments such as physiotherapy, osteopathic manipulation, diet and exercise can be of immense benefit. Alternatively anti-inflammatory medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or spinal injections often provide adequate relief of the symptoms.
On occasions surgery may be recommended if the conservative treatment options do not provide sufficient relief. Minimally invasive surgery is performed to remove the herniated disc, and free up space around the compressed nerve. Some of these procedures include:
- Lumbar discectomy and decompression
- Cervical foraminotomy and decompression
Burak Ozgur, MD treats herniated disc with minimally invasive, outpatient surgical procedures that are designed to help you find relief from pain. Learn more about our minimally invasive procedures or request an appointment for consultation by calling (949) 383-4190 or toll free 888-64-SPINE or Contact Us ➲.