Herniated discs commonly cause back and neck pain and reduced mobility. If a herniated disc is limiting your quality of life, visit Stepan Kasimian, MD, and his colleagues at HAAS Spine & Orthopaedics. The practice has convenient offices in Glendale, Santa Ana, and Upland, California, providing advanced spinal treatments and surgery. Call HAAS Spine & Orthopaedics today or book an appointment online to benefit from exceptional herniated disc care.
Spinal discs are shock-absorbing pads that sit between the vertebrae (bones) that form your spinal column to protect and stabilize your spine. When they herniate (rupture), these discs frequently cause back pain.
Spinal discs have soft, jellylike cores (the central pulp) protected by a tough outer layer. A bulge can form if the central pulp pushes against a weak spot in the outer shell. Should the outer layer tear, the pulp can push through (herniate) into your spinal canal.
Trauma sometimes causes a herniated disc — for example, a sports injury, fall, or auto accident. More often, age-related wear-and-tear is the underlying cause.
Spinal discs have a high fluid content when you’re young, but as you age, they dry out. Drier discs flatten and weaken (degenerative disc disease), so the outer shell is more likely to tear.
Lifting heavy items, making repeated movements, and twisting your spine can put enough pressure on a weakened disc to cause a herniation — excess body weight and not exercising enough increase your risk of suffering a herniated disc.
Many patients with a herniated disc recover well with conservative treatments. Your doctor at HAAS Spine & Orthopaedics might recommend hot and cold compresses, physical therapy, and medications, including muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatories.
Patients who don’t improve with these treatments might benefit from epidural steroid injections. These injections into the spine use powerful anti-inflammatory medication and a local anesthetic to reduce inflammation and pain.
If no other treatments are helping, HAAS Spine & Orthopaedics offers several surgeries for herniated discs. These include:
Microdiscectomy involves removing the damaged portion of a spinal disc. Your surgeon might do this using specialized instruments or a laser.
Discectomy removes the entire disc. To stabilize your spine afterward, you need fusion or artificial disc replacement. Fusion involves inserting a bone graft that fuses the vertebrae on either side, restoring stability and strength. During artificial disc replacement, your surgeon implants an artificial disc into the space.
HAAS Spine & Orthopaedics surgeons use minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) whenever possible. MISS requires small incisions that cause far less tissue damage and pain. Recovery is likely to be much quicker compared to traditional open surgery.
Call HAAS Spine & Orthopaedics today or book an appointment online to benefit from expert herniated disc treatment.