Disc extrusion definition
Disc extrusion is a degenerative disc disease that occurs when a disc in the spine tears or bulges under the constant pressure or surrounding vertebrae. In some severe cases, the outer layer of the disc can tear, allowing inner disc fluid to leak into the spinal canal.
On its own, disc extrusion does not cause any pain or symptoms. However, if damaged disc material or inner disc fluid enters the spinal canal and touches a local nerve, a series of painful symptoms can be experienced. These symptoms include:
- Pain at the location of the nerve and into the nearby extremity
- Muscle weakness or tingling
- Pins-and-needles feeling
The most common way to develop disc extrusion — also referred to as a herniated disc — is simply through growing older.
As we age, the soft, spongy discs that cushion our spine gradually begin to deteriorate as water and protein content diminish. Eventually, the discs weaken and become brittle, allowing tears to develop in the fibrous outer walls of the discs. It is through these tears that the nucleus material escapes a disc. Fortunately, several treatment options are available to heal the disc and relieve the symptoms of pain and discomfort.
Treatment options for a herniated disc
The first step for you to find pain relief is to schedule an appointment with your physician. Your physician can diagnose the cause of your pain and recommend an appropriate treatment. In fact, in many cases, the pain from a ruptured disc can be managed with a series of conservative, noninvasive treatments. These can include:
- Low-impact exercise
- Healthy diet
- Stretching techniques like yoga or Pilates
- Hot/cold compresses
- Vertebral manipulation
- Chiropractic care
- Over-the-counter or prescription medication
Further treatment may be required if these treatments are not relieving your pain after several months. If this is your situation, don’t settle for living in pain. Contact Laser Spine Institute and ask about our minimally invasive spine surgery that can help treat your extruded disc.
Our minimally invasive discectomy can remove a small portion of the damaged disc to remove the pressure on the pinched nerve and relieve your pain. Sometimes, the entire disc will need to be removed with a stabilization procedure and then replaced with a new, artificial disc and bone grafts to support the spine.
To learn about the benefits of Laser Spine Institute and what makes our surgery safer and and effective to traditional open back surgery^, contact us today and request a review of your MRI or CT scan.