Obtaining an Annular Tear Prognosis

You could be surprised to learn that for the majority of patients, an annular tear prognosis is actually quite positive. Ninety percent of people who experience an annular tear, also called a herniated or ruptured disc, will be able to manage their symptoms non-surgically until the disc heals on its own. With a variety of conservative treatments, such as pain medication and hot-cold therapy, the gel-like inner disc material that extrudes through the fissure – also the culprit behind painful neural compression – will be resorbed by the body.

Diagnostic tools

In order to confirm a diagnosis and give you a proper annular tear prognosis, in addition to an appropriate treatment plan, your physician can conduct one or more of the following tests:

  • Physical examination – Your physician will inquire about your medical history and ask for an account of the location, frequency and severity of your symptoms. Manual palpation can also help the physician locate spinal abnormalities or areas of inflammation.
  • MRI, or Magnetic Resonance Imaging – This is an image of the body’s internal tissues produced by magnetic radio frequency waves. An MRI is extremely accurate and produces no ionizing radiation.
  • CT scan, or Computed Tomography – This is a 3-D image of your body produced by a series of 2-D X-ray images. Tomography refers to a type of image that captures a cross-section of the body with radiation.

After your annular tear prognosis

Annular tear healing time will vary from person to person. If disc resorption does not occur after weeks or months of conservative treatments and medical imaging has shown no reduction in the size of your annular tear, your physician could suggest that you consider surgery. Laser Spine Institute offers a variety of minimally invasive procedures that are effective alternatives to traditional open spine surgery. Contact us today for a review of your MRI or CT scan.