HNP definition, symptoms and treatments

HNP stands for herniated nucleus pulposus, and describes the condition in which the gel-like inner material of a spinal disc — the nucleus pulposus — pushes through the thick, outer disc wall and extrudes into the spinal canal. HNP is basically another term for the condition known as a herniated disc.

This herniation is often the result of the gradual deterioration of the discs in the spine as part of the natural aging process. Over time, cartilage and other components of the discs can break down, causing discs to thin, bulge or otherwise deform, sometimes to the point where they can tear and become herniated.

Symptoms of HNP

Identifying the symptoms of HNP can help you be proactive about your treatment, whether you are trying to prevent debilitating pain or you are already experiencing it.

A herniated disc by itself does not always cause symptoms. In fact, many people have some level of disc herniation currently in their spine without even knowing it. Pain can be the result of local irritation of the disc or develop when a herniated nucleus pulposus places pressure on a nearby spinal nerve. These symptoms can include:

  • Pain
  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Loss of reflexes

Treatment for HNP

If you’re experiencing the pain and symptoms of a herniated disc, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor. He or she can recommend a course of conservative treatments, such as physical therapy, hot/cold therapy, exercise, stretching, massage, chiropractic care and others.

For many these treatments are often very effective in easing the pain and other symptoms associated with HNP.

Minimally invasive spine surgery

Surgery becomes an option for some patients after several months of conservative treatment do not provide relief. If this is your situation, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about our minimally invasive spine surgery as a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery.^

Our minimally invasive decompression and minimally invasive stabilization surgery can treat HNP by relieving the pressure of the damaged disc on the pinched nerve. The decompression surgery is the most common of our procedures for a damaged disc because it removes just a small piece of the disc that is causing nerve compression. However, sometimes the entire disc must be removed and an implant inserted in the empty disc space to stabilize the spine. This is accomplished with our minimally invasive stabilization procedures, which are an alternative to traditional open spine fusions. By using muscle-sparing techniques, our patients experience a shorter recovery time^ and a lower risk of complication compared to patients who undergo traditional open back surgery.

We are pleased to offer a no-cost MRI or CT scan review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.

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