Even if you’re experiencing the painful symptoms of disc extrusion, surgery is most often considered an elective last resort. That’s because a regimen of conservative, non-surgical treatments is often sufficient in reducing pain related to an extruded disc. These treatments can include physical therapy, pain medications, hot/cold therapy, massage, chiropractics and others. But before selecting a treatment, it’s important to know the specifics of this condition, and exactly why it is causing your symptoms.
What is an extruded disc?
Disc extrusion occurs when an intervertebral disc – a soft, sponge-like shock absorber in your spine – pushes past its normal boundary. Also known as a bulging disc, this condition most often occurs as part of the natural aging process. Over time, your discs lose height and water content, and can bulge to the point that they compress nearby spinal nerves or the spinal cord. It is this neural compression – not the disc extrusion itself – that actually causes your symptoms.
These symptoms can vary, but often include:
- Localized pain at the site of neural compression
- Pain that travels the length of the nerve being pinched
Minimally invasive alternatives to open disc extrusion surgery
Surgery to treat an extruded disc only becomes an option once conservative treatments have failed. However, open spine surgery often requires large incisions, hospital stays and lengthy recoveries. If you’re considering disc extrusion surgery but are concerned about the risks of open spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute today. Our minimally invasive procedures are effective alternatives to open neck and back surgery.