Paracentral disc protrusion

Paracentral disc protrusion is a type of degenerative disc disease that results in chronic neck or back pain and other uncomfortable symptoms.

This condition occurs with the natural degeneration of the spine, which causes pressure to be pushed down on the vertebrae and discs in the spine. Each disc is tucked in between a set of vertebrae and is responsible for supporting and spacing the vertebrae to allow spinal movement. As a disc becomes compressed, it may change shape and protrude out of its normal alignment in the spine.

When this happens, most discs protrude outward into the spinal canal. This is called a bulging disc or herniated disc, depending on the severity of disc damage. However, when a paracentral disc protrusion occurs, the disc extends toward the center of the spine and protrudes into the space between the spine and the spinal cord. If the disc impacts a nerve root near the spinal cord, severe pain and symptoms can occur.

Because paracentral disc protrusion is similar to other forms of disc protrusion, it is important to understand the difference in order to find the right treatment option for your needs. Take a moment to review the types of disc protrusion that can occur:

  • Central disc protrusion — The bulge pushes toward the center of the spinal canal and the spinal cord.
  • Lateral disc protrusion — The bulge pushes toward the left or right of the spinal canal, where it can pinch nerve roots that branch off the spinal cord.
  • Paracentral disc protrusion — The bulge pushes near the center of the spinal canal, where it can pinch the spinal cord and nerve roots.
  • Posterolateral disc protrusion — The bulge pushes toward the back and left, or back and right, side of the spinal canal, and can pinch nerve roots.

Treatment options for paracentral disc protrusion

The treatments available to you for a paracentral disc protrusion depend on the location and severity of the condition. For many mild cases of this degenerative disc disease, conservative forms of treatment can yield effective pain relief. The common conservative treatments used for a damaged disc include:

  • Exercise, physical therapy or yoga
  • The use of a neck or back brace in the short term
  • The application of heat or ice
  • Injections
  • Pain medication — either over-the-counter or prescription
  • Acupuncture

However, if these procedures do not offer pain relief, you may consider a surgical treatment option. At Laser Spine Institute, we understand the overwhelming feeling that often accompanies a decision about spine surgery. That is why we encourage patients to research our minimally invasive treatment alternatives to traditional open back surgery. We offer patients a safer and effective treatment option with a higher patient satisfaction score (96) than traditional spine surgery.^

Unlike conventional open back surgery, our minimally invasive procedures can help relieve pain without hospitalization and lengthy rehabilitation.^ We offer a minimally invasive discectomy procedure for patients suffering from disc protrusion. During this procedure, our surgeons remove a small portion of the damaged disc to remove the pressure from a pinched nerve root in the spinal cord. In some cases of a severely damaged disc, our surgeons may remove the entire disc and follow up with a stabilization surgery to insert an artificial disc in the empty space to immediately support the spine.

Our procedures avoid the tearing and disruption of the surrounding spine muscles, making our surgery safer than traditional open back surgery. Our patients also enjoy a shorter recovery time^ than patients who choose traditional surgery.

Contact Laser Spine Institute today to learn more about how minimally invasive spine surgery can be used to help alleviate your pain resulting from a paracentral disc protrusion, and for your MRI or CT scan review.