Herniated Disc Treatment in Southern California
A herniated (slipped) disk occurs when all or part of a disk is forced through a weakened part of the disk. This may place pressure on nearby nerves or the spinal cord.
Offering the latest in innovative, minimally invasive spine procedures and orthopedic care in Southern California, the team at ONE® Brain & Spine Center® is focused on helping our patients live the best life possible while making informed decisions about their healthcare. Call (949) 383-4190 or Contact Us today for an appointment.
A herniated disk is one cause of radiculopathy, affecting the spinal nerve roots. This occur more often in middle-aged and older men, usually after strenuous activity. Other risk factors include congenital conditions that affect the size of the lumbar spinal canal.
Cause of herniated disc:
- Slipped or broken disc from injury or strain – This often causes pressure on the spinal nerves, leading to pain, numbness, weakness, or loss of reflexes.
- The lower back (lumbar)of the spine is the most common area for a slipped disk. The neck (cervical) disks are sometimes affected. The upper-to-mid-back (thoracic) rarely suffer from herniated disc.
With a herniated disc in the lower back, you may have sharp pain in one part of the leg, hip, or buttocks and numbness in other parts. You may also feel pain, numbness or weakness on the back of the calf or sole of the foot.
With a herniated disc in your neck, you may have pain, numbness or weakness when moving your neck, near or over the shoulder blade. Pain can radiate to the arm, hand and the fingers.
Pain may progress slowly, but may worsen as you walk, stand, sit, bend, sneeze, cough or laugh.
The clinical diagnosis for herniated disc is usually arrived at through a combination of the patient’s medical history and a physical exam. Imaging studies (MRI, CT-myelogram) are used to confirm the diagnosis and will typically show the impingement on the nerve root.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – MRI shows the soft tissues of the body and gives clearer picture of the discs, nerves and soft tissues in the lower back.
- Computerized Tomography (CT Scan)with Myelogram- Combined CT scan and myleography produces image that clearly show both the bone structures of the spine and the nerve structures
At ONE® Brain & Spine Center®, it is recommended that a course of non-surgical treatment should be conducted first. Initial treatment may include pain and anti-inflammatory medications such as corticosteroids or non-steroidal pain medication like ibuprofen and physical therapy. Steroids may be prescribed either orally or injected epidurally (into the space above the dura, which is the membrane that surrounds the spinal cord). If the pain is accompanied by spasm, you may be prescribed with muscle relaxants. If non-surgical treatment does not alleviate the pain, minimally invasive decompressive surgery may be recommended.
- Pain and anti-inflammatory medications
- Epidural steroid injection
- Hot and cold compress
- Physical therapy
Minimally Invasive Surgical Treatments
- Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF)- Spinal fusion is a procedure that “welds” two vertebrae of the spine together to create one solid bone and relieve chronic pain. The anterior approach for the lumbar fusion is through the front of the body– the abdomen– and is considered to be far more ideal than the traditional posterior approach, or through the back. Read more about ALIF.
- Posterior Cervical and Lumbar Microdiscectomy (Microdecompression) – Microdiscectomy, also known as microdecompression, is one of the most commonly performed minimally invasive spine procedures. Beneficial for those with damaged discs at either the cervical or lumbar level, microdiscectomy effectively removes the pressure off the spinal nerves, relieving chronic neck and back pain without the recovery and rehabilitation time required with traditional, open discectomy spine surgery. Read more about Microdecompression.
- Cervical and Lumbar Spine Arthroplasty – Spine arthroplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that involves the placement of an artificial disc after the removal of a damaged disc. Read more about Cervical and Lumbar Spine Arthroplasty.