What is the most successful kind of treatment for a torn disc?

People living with a torn disc often struggle to find the treatment that will best relieve their pain and help them get back to their everyday routines. The solution depends on a person’s individual condition. Not every treatment is right for every patient, and while conservative methods work for many individuals, there are many other patients who may require surgery to achieve relief. If you’ve been diagnosed with a torn disc, your physician can work with you to determine which treatment options offer the best chances of success.

A torn disc (also referred to as a “herniated” or “ruptured” disc) occurs when the exterior shell of a spinal disc (the annulus fibrosus) splits open, allowing the material inside (the nucleus pulposus) to leak out into the surrounding area. The splitting can happen for a number of reasons, including genetics, obesity, injury to the spine and general age-related deterioration. In many cases, someone living with a torn disc may not be aware of it. If the torn disc or the leaking material begin to irritate surrounding nerves, however, patients may experience the following symptoms:

  • Pain (localized or radiating)
  • Numbness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficulty walking

Many people living with a torn disc are able to treat their pain using a combination of conservative treatments, including pain medication, corticosteroid injections, physical therapy and heat/cold therapy. At Laser Spine Institute, we commonly treat torn discs using our minimally invasive discectomy procedure. Patients generally only undergo this procedure if they’ve attempted to relieve their symptoms using conservative techniques but were unsuccessful in doing so. During a discectomy, we remove the portion of the torn disc that is exerting pressure on surrounding nerves and causing you pain. We do this using minimally invasive techniques, which allow us to complete the procedure without altering your spinal stability.

For more information about this procedure, as well as our other minimally invasive spine surgeries, contact Laser Spine Institute today. We are pleased to offer free MRI reviews,* which we can use to help determine whether you may be a candidate for our procedures.