Disk herniation is most often the result of a gradual, aging-related wear and tear called disk degeneration.
As you age, your disks become less flexible and more prone to tearing or rupturing with even a minor strain or twist.
A herniated disk refers to a problem with one of the rubbery cushions (disks) that sit between the individual bones (vertebrae) that stack to make your spine. A spinal disk has a soft, jellylike center (nucleus) encased in a tougher, rubbery exterior (annulus). Sometimes called a slipped disk or a ruptured disk, a herniated disk occurs when some of the nucleus pushes out through a tear in the annulus.
A herniated disk, which can occur in any part of the spine, can irritate a nearby nerve.
Depending on where the herniated disk is, it can result in pain, numbness or weakness in an arm or leg.
Many people have no symptoms from a herniated disk. Surgery is usually not necessary to relieve the problem.
Most herniated disks occur in the lower back, although they can also occur in the neck. Signs and symptoms depend on where the disk is situated and whether the disk is pressing on a nerve. They usually affect one side of the body.
- Arm or leg pain. If your herniated disk is in your lower back, you’ll typically feel the most pain in your buttocks, thigh and You might have pain in part of the foot, as well. If your herniated disk is in your neck, you’ll typically feel the most pain in your shoulder and arm. This pain might shoot into your arm or leg when you cough, sneeze or move into certain positions. Pain is often described as sharp or burning.
- Numbness or tingling. People who have a herniated disk often have radiating numbness or tingling in the body part served by the affected
- Muscles served by the affected nerves tend to weaken. This can cause you to stumble, or affect your ability to lift or hold items.
You can have a herniated disk without symptoms. You might not know you have it unless it shows up on a spinal image.
MRI is a “gold” standard for the herniated disc diagnosis.
Radio waves and a strong magnetic field are used to create images of your body’s internal structures. This test can be used to confirm the location of the herniated disk and to see which nerves are affected.
The diagnosis of a hernia of the intervertebral disc is most often not an indication for surgical treatment.
If rest, pain relievers, and physical therapy don’t help with your pain, your doctor can inject a steroid medicine into the space around your spinal nerve. This is called an epidural injection. The steroid can help bring down the swelling, help you move more easily, and ease pain from a herniated disk.
Spinal injections or Blockades under tomographic control are one of the most effective methods of epidural injections for quickly relieving pain caused by a hernia. Your doctor will use an X-ray or CT scan to find the right spot to inject the medicine.
You might need more than one steroid shot to relieve your pain.
We provide up to 30 different epidural steroid injections weekly.
To date, the most advanced surgical method for the treatment of hernia is Discectomy (endoscopic removal). During this procedure, your surgeon removes your damaged disk to relieve pressure on your nerves. The advantage of the procedure is that the procedure takes place without general anesthesia, the hernia is removed through the incision up to 1 centimeter, and the patient leaves home the next day.
Benefits of endoscopic Decompression Surgery for Disc Herniation:
– Small incision (less than 1 cm) leads to reduced risk of infection and minimal surgery-related blood loss
– Minimal trauma to surrounding tissues
– Low postoperative pain
– 1 night in a hospital
– Fast recovery with minimal rehabilitation, quick return to your usual lifestyle
– Low relapse rate
– Better functional and cosmetic result
– Often there is no need for expensive implants
Lumbar laminotomy Sometimes your surgeon will also need to remove a small piece of bone called the lamina from the vertebra. The lamina forms a protective cover over your spinal cord. Removing part or all of it helps the surgeon access your herniated disk. It also can relieve pressure on your nerves and eliminate leg pain and sciatica. The lamina can be removed during the discectomy. Or, you might have it taken out in a separate surgery.
Spinal fusion After a Discectomy or Laminotomy, your surgeon may fuse together the two vertebrae on either side of the disk to stabilize your spine. This is called spinal fusion. Fusing the two disks will stop the bones from moving and prevent you from having any more pain.