What is a protrusion of a disc?

When one of the discs that cushions the vertebrae in the spinal column sticks out beyond its normal boundary, it is called a protruded, or bulging, disc. While disc protrusion is a relatively common occurrence that can be caused by several factors, it doesn’t always cause symptoms. Many people go about their daily lives without ever realizing that they have a bulging disc. However, in some cases, the affected disc sticks out and places pressure on a surrounding nerve root or the spinal cord. The pressure can cause pain and interfere with the signals sent up and down the nerves, leading to a variety of symptoms in areas served by the nerve. These symptoms include numbness and muscle weakness.

Disc protrusion surgery

Disc protrusion surgery is only recommended in rare circumstances. Not only do many people experience disc protrusion without symptoms, but those who have symptoms usually find relief through nonsurgical treatment methods. If, after weeks or months of trying out different symptom management methods, a patient doesn’t achieve significant relief, surgery may be a good option. Unlike other methods, surgery can address the root cause of symptoms – the protruding disc itself. Surgeons can remove a part or all of a damaged disc, and they can also fuse portions of the spine together to provide additional stability after the disc is removed.

Minimally invasive options

The minimally invasive disc protrusion surgery performed at Laser Spine Institute offers many advantages versus open neck and back surgery. Our spine procedures are performed in an outpatient setting, without the use of the large incisions associated with traditional neck or back surgery. Plus, our minimally invasive surgery has an infection rate of only 0.55 percent, compared to up to 16 percent as seen in traditional open spine surgery.

To learn more about the minimally invasive, outpatient spine surgery performed at Laser Spine Institute, and to find out if you’re a candidate, contact us today.