Lumbar disc protrusion is a common spinal disc disorder that causes low back pain and other symptoms throughout a patient’s lower body. The lumbar spine (lower back) is particularly prone to disc protrusion because it supports most of the body’s weight and is extremely flexible. This leads to a higher chance of injury and faster degeneration rate compared to the neck and mid-back. As a result, lumbar disc protrusion is far more common than protrusion at any of the other segments of the spine.
In a healthy spine, the vertebrae in the lumbar segment are separated by soft, pliable intervertebral discs. When functioning normally, these discs act as cushions for the back and neck and help give the body its flexibility. With aging however, these discs can lose their elasticity and strength. As they are compressed, they can bulge out and protrude. If the disc protrusion irritates, impinges or pinches one of the five lumbar nerves (L1-L5), pain or other symptoms may result. The specific symptoms depend on the location, severity, and pathology of the protrusion.
Common symptoms of L1-L5 disc protrusion include:
- Chronic, low back pain
- Back stiffness or soreness
- Muscle weakness in the thighs and calves
- Pain, numbness, and tingling in the legs, feet and toes
- Incontinence (in rare emergency cases)
In most instances, physicians manage disc protrusion symptoms conservatively, that is, non-surgically. Treatment can include rest, exercise and stretching, pain medication, the application of heat or ice, and more. In some cases, patients do not respond to conservative treatment and surgery is prescribed. To avoid unnecessary destruction of normal tissue and minimize risk, it is reasonable to determine the least invasive efficacious surgical treatment possible. How to accomplish an efficacious treatment and while maintaining the least disruptive course of action is the fundamental idea upon which Laser Spine Institute was conceived and developed. With substantial effort and financial expenditure the physicians at Laser Spine Institute have developed innovative, highly successful minimally invasive endoscopic procedures for the treatment of many spinal conditions. When conservative non-invasive treatment has failed, more invasive treatments are required. In the past, “more invasive” has meant traditional open spinal surgery. “More invasive” no longer must mean traditional open spinal surgery. It now may mean minimally invasive spine surgery.
Please investigate the minimally invasive procedures performed at Laser Spine Institute, offering efficacious procedures with less normal tissue destruction, shorter convalescent period and lower risk when compared with traditional open spine surgery of all types. Contact us today for a complimentary review of your MRI or CT scan, and to receive more information about our institute.