A disc herniation refers to a crack in the tough exterior of a spinal disc, causing the soft interior to spill out and irritate surrounding nerves. This is a common condition that affects more than 2% of the general population, and in some instances, a disc herniation can cause debilitating symptoms if not treated right away. Disc herniations may not exhibit pain symptoms right away, which is why patients often prolong treatment for this condition. While there are many causes of a disc herniation, the most common cause is degenerative disc disease due to old age. If you’re experiencing symptoms related to a disc herniation, make sure you call NeuroMicroSpine as soon as possible to receive a thorough evaluation.
As we mentioned previously, the most common cause of a disc herniation is degenerative disc disease due to old age. As we get older, the discs in our spinal canal begin to lose their water content, which can dry them out and cause them to crack. These cracks may start out small, but over time, they become larger from normal, daily activity. Eventually, patients will begin to experience different levels of pain, numbness, and tingling or weakness in the upper or lower extremities. Depending on the location of your herniated disc, you may experience a sharp pain in your shoulders, arms, lower back, or legs when you sneeze or make sudden movements. Other disc herniation causes include genetics, excess body weight, and physically demanding occupations.
Treatments of a disc herniation include conservative therapies, interventional procedures, and in severe cases, minimally invasive spinal surgery. More often than not, conservative techniques will not be enough to prevent degeneration from taking place, so Dr. Mark Giovanini of NeuroMicroSpine will likely recommend a surgical procedure called a discectomy, which removes a portion of the damaged disc from the spine. A combination of other surgical techniques may be used to remove and replace pieces of a damaged disc or the disc herniation may be removed altogether. In rare cases, an artificial spinal disc will be implanted in the space of the removed herniated disc. Patients exhibiting signs of a disc herniation should call NeuroMicroSpine to schedule a consultation.