A herniated disc can cause severe, disabling pain, most often in the lower back or neck. If you develop pain in these areas, visit the board-certified neurosurgeons at Coast Neurosurgical Associates in Long Beach, California. They excel in diagnosing and treating herniated discs using the most advanced techniques. For unrivaled care when disc herniation limits your mobility, call Coast Neurosurgical Associates today or book an appointment online.
A herniated disc suffers damage that can compress the nerves in your spinal canal.
There’s a disc in between every pair of vertebrae that make up your spine. They’re circular pads of tissue with a spongy texture, providing your spine with cushioning and stability.
The core of a disc is a soft jelly-like substance contained within a tough outer casing. When something weakens or damages the outer shell, it allows the core material to leak into the spinal canal. Discs may bulge when the core pushes against a weak spot or tear, resulting in herniation.
You can herniate a spinal disc in two ways:
A severe fall, work or sports injury, or auto accident could result in acute disc damage and herniation.
Over the years, your spinal discs lose their moisture content and gradually deteriorate. This causes degenerative disc disease, where your discs get thinner, flatter, and weaker. If the deterioration in your discs is bad, the weakened outer shell could split under minimal pressure.
The Coast Neurosurgical Associates team’s initial treatments for a herniated disc are likely to be conservative. For many patients, a treatment plan consisting of physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, and activity modification effectively reduces inflammation and herniation.
If your neck or back pain continues despite these treatments, your Coast Neurosurgical Associates provider might suggest epidural steroid injections. They use image guidance technology to insert a needle into the epidural space in your spine and inject medication.
Steroids have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. The injections might also contain a local anesthetic for complete but short-acting pain relief. If your symptoms still fail to improve, you might need to consider surgery.
You have several options for herniated disc surgery. Your surgeon describes each one and recommends the procedure most suited to you. Options include:
Using minimally invasive spine surgery techniques, your surgeon removes the damaged part of your disc.
For discectomy, your surgeon removes the entire disc.
Following discectomy, you might need fusion to stabilize your spine. This involves putting a bone graft in the space where the disc used to be. Over time, the vertebrae on either side fuse with the graft, forming a strong link.
Artificial disc replacement is an alternative to fusion. It involves fitting a replacement disc that closely mimics the function of a natural disc.
If you have herniated disc symptoms and need expert diagnosis and treatment, call Coast Neurosurgical Associates today or book an appointment online.