Healing an annular tear

An annular tear describes a condition that develops when the tough outer wall of the spine (annulus fibrosus) wears down and rips due to degeneration. As a result, disc material can leak, which irritates the nerve fibers and causes a tremendous amount of pain as well as numbness, tingling and weakness in the neck, back or legs. If you are suffering from an annular tear, you may be wondering if achieving lasting relief is possible when it comes to this debilitating condition.

The healing process of an annular tear

While it’s unlikely that an annular tear will fully heal, the tear will often become replaced with scar tissue over time. However, re-injury and premature degeneration become likely in this case. This condition can also become further aggravated by factors such as coughing, sneezing, bending, lifting and twisting. With the help of several conservative treatment methods, many individuals can often find relief from the symptoms associated with this condition.

It is extremely important to consult your doctor prior to starting any treatments, to avoid worsening your annular tear or interfering with the healing process. After examining the root cause of your condition as well as the severity and location of your symptoms, your doctor can help you determine the best treatment option for your spine care needs. For instance, the following nonsurgical treatments may be recommended to ease your pain and discomfort:

  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Chiropractic care
  • Physical therapy
  • Ultrasound therapy
  • TENS therapy
  • Pain medication
  • Epidural injections

In instances where conservative treatments have failed or a nerve root or spinal cord becomes compressed as a result of this condition, the annular tear may require surgical intervention to heal. As you research the types of surgery available to you, we encourage you to contact Laser Spine Institute with any questions regarding your condition or one of our minimally invasive procedures. We are here to help guide you through your journey to wellness.

How Laser Spine Institute can help heal your annular tear

At Laser Spine Institute, we offer a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery.^ By using a small incision that is muscle sparing, our board-certified surgeons+ are able to remove part or all of the disc that is pressing against the nerve root or spinal cord. Depending on the severity of the annular tear, the damaged disc may also be replaced with an artificial disc.

Our minimally invasive procedures have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from their chronic neck or back conditions, setting us apart as the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery. To learn more about how our outpatient procedures can help heal your annular tear, reach out to us today. Through a free MRI review, we can help determine if you are a potential candidate for our surgery.