How a disc protrusion specialist can help

A disc protrusion occurs when the outer wall of a spinal disc has been pushed outside of its normal boundary. This can happen as a disc loses water content and weakens, which can result from degeneration associated with ongoing wear and the natural aging process. A disc protrusion is classified as “focal” if the protruding section covers less than 90 degrees of the total disc circumference, and is classified as “broad-based” if the protruding portion encompasses 90 to 180 degrees of the total disc circumference.

Patients may be diagnosed with this condition after visiting their primary care doctor regarding painful symptoms like tingling, numbness and shooting pains in the neck, back or extremities. If basic conservative treatments like heat therapy, ice packs and over-the-counter pain medications don’t relieve the condition, you may be recommended to see a disc protrusion specialist. This is a doctor, such as a spine surgeon or physiatrist, who specializes in more involved diagnosis and treatment of this condition.

If pain from a disc protrusion is making it difficult for you to engage in everyday activities, learning more about the full range of treatment options a disc protrusion specialist can offer may help you find the relief you deserve.

How a disc protrusion specialist can relieve symptoms

Many patients wonder if being referred to a spine specialist necessarily means surgery, however, surgery is usually considered a last resort treatment option. A specialist who treats disc protrusions should attempt to exhaust conservative methods before spine surgery becomes a serious option. More involved treatments that you may be recommended when seeing a specialist include:

  • Prescription pain medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Exercise
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Chiropractic treatment

Minimally invasive spine surgery

If chronic symptoms persist after attempting the conservative treatment methods recommended by a disc protrusion specialist, surgery might become an option. When exploring spine surgery, patients often develop concerns about some of the risks and difficulties involved with a traditional open neck or back procedure. This can include a large incision, a multi-night hospital stay and a long, sometimes painful, recovery period.

Laser Spine Institute offers a safer and effective alternative^ with minimally invasive spine surgery. By using muscle-sparing techniques like a less than 1-inch incision, our outpatient procedures offer patients less risk of complication compared to traditional open spine surgery.

For a no-cost MRI review* to find out if you are a potential candidate for our procedures, contact Laser Spine Institute today.