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Overview: Disc Herniation

Herniated Nucleus Pulposus, Disc Bulge, Pinched Nerve

A protrusion of the disc from its designated space, compressing against a nerve (impingement).  The irritation to the nerve can cause pain, numbness, or weakness in the extremities, also known as disc herniation.

disc herniation representation

Disc Herniation Symptoms:

  • Arm or leg pain. If your herniated disc is in your lower back, you’ll typically feel the most intense pain in your buttocks, thigh and leg below the knee. It may also involve part of the foot. If your herniated disc is in your neck, the pain will typically be most intense in the shoulder and arm. This pain may shoot into your arm or leg when you cough, sneeze or move your spine into certain positions.
  • Numbness or tingling. People who have a herniated disc often experience numbness or tingling in the body part served by the affected nerves.
  • Weakness. Muscles served by the affected nerves tend to weaken. This may cause you to stumble, or impair your ability to lift or hold items.

Disc Herniation Tests may include:

  • Physical Exam
  • Neurological Exam
  • X-rays
  • CT Scan
  • MRI
  • CT Myelogram
  • EMG/NCS

Treatment:

Medications, injections, and/or physical therapy may be prescribed.  However, in significant cases surgery may be suggested.

  • In some cases, we can remove the protrusion.
  • Or, the entire disc must be removed.  In these instances, the vertebrae may need to be fused together with metal hardware or implanted with an artificial disc.

Gallery:

disc herniation condition

Prepare:

Before your appointment, consider the following questions:

  • When did you first begin experiencing disc herniation symptoms?
  • Were you lifting, pushing or pulling anything at the time you first felt symptoms? Were you twisting your back?
  • Has the pain kept you from participating in activities you wanted to do?
  • Do you have any pain that travels into your arms or legs?
  • Do you feel any weakness or numbness in your arms or legs?
  • Have you noticed any changes in your bowel or bladder habits?
  • Does coughing, sneezing or straining for a bowel movement worsen your leg pain?
  • What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
  • Is the disc herniation pain interfering with sleep or work?
  • What medications or supplements do you take?

Person Listening

Listen to Live Lectures About AS by the Doctors:

“ Cervico - Thoracic deformity as a result of AS “ by Dr. Perri

“Decompression and fusion surgeries for AS patients” by Dr. Siddique


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