A left paracentral disc extrusion is a herniated disc that has leaked nucleus material into the left-central portion of the spinal column. Most herniated discs never exhibit symptoms, and they often heal themselves through a process called resorption. However, if extruded nucleus material irritates or compresses an adjacent nerve root or the spinal cord, it can cause symptoms such as pain, tingling, numbness or muscle weakness. Because irritation from a left paracentral disc extrusion occurs on the left side of the spinal cord – and typically affects a nerve root branching off to the left – symptoms are experienced on the left side of the body.
Causes of left paracentral disc extrusion
The vertebrae of the spine are separated by cushions known as intervertebral discs. These discs are comprised of a gel-like inner material known as the nucleus pulposus and a fibrous outer layer, or wall, known as the annulus fibrosus. As the body ages, discs begin to lose their elasticity and height. Increased pressure from the nucleus pulposus forces weakened portions of the annulus fibrosus out of the disc’s normal boundaries, and these “bulges” often develop into fissures. Nucleus material then leaks out of the tears into the spinal canal, endangering the neural activities performed by the spinal cord and nearby nerve roots. This same process can be caused in an accelerated manner by a traumatic disc injury.
Treatment for left paracentral disc extrusion
More often than not, conservative treatment options such as pain medication, exercise or behavior modification can help patients manage chronic symptoms while resorption takes place. However, if chronic symptoms persist after several weeks or months of conservative treatment, surgery might become an option. If so, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about our minimally invasive, outpatient procedures that treat the symptoms of a herniated disc. We’ll provide a review of your MRI or CT scan.