Disc extrusion treatment — what are your options?

Disc extrusion treatment can take on a variety of forms, with specific options largely depending on the severity of your condition and symptoms. The good news is that disc extrusion, also called a herniated disc, can often improve on its own. The goal of initial treatment is typically to help manage symptoms while the progress of the condition is monitored by a doctor. Surgery to treat disc extrusion is usually reserved for severe debilitating cases that have affected quality of life for an extended period of time and are not responding to conservative treatments.

Conservative options to treat disc extrusion

Nonsurgical disc extrusion treatment can involve a combination of traditional and holistic methods, including:

  • Hot and cold compresses
  • Therapeutic massage
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
  • Restorative yoga or other exercises
  • Prescription or over-the-counter pain relievers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Alternative treatments like acupuncture and herbal remedies

Any treatment you attempt should be performed with the close supervision of your doctor and you should keep him or her informed of any new methods you’re exploring.

Overview of surgical options for disc extrusion

For most people, conservative treatments effectively manage disc extrusion symptoms. If your pain and other symptoms persist even after weeks or months of conservative treatment, you may be asked to consider spine surgery. Two main approaches to surgery can be used to treat disc extrusion: traditional open spine surgery and minimally invasive spine surgery. Traditional surgery is a highly invasive option typically requiring hospitalization and a long recovery period.

A minimally invasive spine surgery relies on muscle-sparing techniques and a small incision to access the site of neural compression. Through this incision, the surgeon carefully inserts small surgical instruments to perform a decompression or stabilization procedure. As in traditional open spine surgery, the surgeon removes all or part of the affected disc to relieve pain and, if necessary, stabilize the spine to minimize future compression of surrounding nerve structures. Because the overall approach is less intrusive, the typical recovery is shorter than for traditional open spine surgeries.^

Reach out to Laser Spine Institute

If you would like more information about the benefits of minimally invasive spine procedures performed on an outpatient basis, contact Laser Spine Institute. We are the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery and have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from neck and back pain.

For a no-cost MRI or CT scan review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures, reach out to our team today.