Herniated discs don’t cause symptoms in every case, but if they place pressure on nearby nerves, you might feel pain or numbness. At Frontier Spine & Orthopaedic Surgery in Rock Springs, Wyoming, Justin Dazley, MD, and his team provide nonsurgical treatments and same-day outpatient surgery if necessary. To find out more about herniated discs, how they happen, and how to relieve your symptoms, call Frontier Spine & Orthopaedic Surgery, or book an appointment online today.
To understand what a herniated disc is and how it happens, you must first understand the function of discs in your spine. Spinal discs are soft round cushions that sit between each of your vertebrae and absorb shock to your spine. They also prevent your vertebrae from rubbing together and damaging each other.
Each of your discs contains two layers, the nucleus on the inside and the annulus on the outside. When the annulus ruptures, part of the nucleus can slip out into your spinal canal. This is called a herniated, bulged, or slipped disc.
While you can get a herniated disc anywhere along your spine, they’re most common in your cervical spine (neck) and your lumbar spine (lower back).
Herniated discs often happen because of disc degeneration, or age-related disc wear and tear. Degenerative discs can easily rupture with minor strains or movements, like lifting a heavy object or twisting your back, and your risk increases with age.
Herniated discs don’t always cause symptoms: you might not even realize you have one until it shows up on an imaging test. Usually, symptoms of a herniated disc occur because the disc places pressure on a nearby nerve. Possible signs and symptoms include:
By evaluating your symptoms, the team at Frontier Spine & Orthopaedic Surgery can determine the location of the herniated disc along your spine.
Treatment for herniated discs at Frontier Spine & Orthopaedic Surgery typically starts with nonsurgical approaches. However, the team can provide same-day surgery on an outpatient basis, if it’s necessary. Your treatment plan might involve:
If your herniated disc symptoms are mild or moderate, the team might recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) to relieve some of the inflammation contributing to your nerve compression.
Epidural steroid injections are injections of corticosteroids that the team places with X-ray guidance. Like NSAIDs, they relieve inflammation.
In severe cases, the team might recommend surgery as a treatment for your herniated disc. Total disc replacement is a surgery to replace the ruptured disc with an artificial disc device.
If you have symptoms of a herniated disc like numbness, tingling, or pain, call Frontier Spine & Orthopaedic Surgery or book an evaluation online today.