Peak Orthopedics & Spine
Better Techniques Mean Better Results 303.699.7325
Loading
 
 
Patient Education

Spine Education

Disk Herniation - Lumbar

Herniation of the disc is a medical condition affecting the spine in which the inner central portion (nucleus pulposus) of the spinal disc is forced out through a tear in the outer, fibrous ring (annulus fibrosus) of an intervertebral disc. Herniated disc is also known as a bulging disc, ruptured disc or slipped disc.

A herniated disc may result from a wear and tear of the disc due to aging. As you age the spinal discs dry out and become less flexible and are more susceptible to tear or rupture.
Herniated disc may also be caused by injury to spine. When injury occurs, the central core of the disc is pushed through a tear in the outer hard layer of the disc, causing a bulge and pressing on nearby nerves. If the herniated disc presses on a spinal nerve, it can cause back pain.

Four degrees of disc herniation include nuclear herniation, disc protrusion, nuclear extrusion and sequestered nucleus.

The most common signs and symptoms of a herniated disk are:

  • Disc herniation in the lower back causes back pain that radiates to buttocks and legs
  • Disc herniation in the upper back causes neck pain that radiates to the shoulders and upper arms
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Muscle weakness

Diagnosis

Your doctor can make the diagnosis of a herniated disc by asking questions about your symptoms and by performing a physical examination that tests sensation, muscle strength, and reflexes. The straight leg raise test is positive if pain is evoked when the straight leg is raised when lying or sitting. Other imaging tests such as X-rays, an MRI or a CT scan may be ordered to confirm a herniated disc. Plain X-rays of the spine may help detect wear and tear of the spine. A CT scan provides better visualization of the anatomy of the intervertebral discs and spinal cord.

An electromyogram, a test to detect abnormal electrical activity of muscle, can be used to help pinpoint the location of the nerve damage.

Treatment

Most often, the vast majority of patients with a herniated disc respond to conservative therapy such as medication, rest and physical therapy.

Medications: Medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) are commonly prescribed, to reduce the inflammation and to relieve pressure around the compressed nerves. Oral steroid medications such as prednisone and medrol may be used in episodes of an acute (sudden) disc herniation. Other medications such as muscle relaxant medications and pain medications may be prescribed. Your doctor may also recommend epidural steroid injections which are directly injected into the area of nerve compression to relieve the compression on the nerves.

Rest: Avoid activities that may worsen your symptoms.

Physical therapy: Your doctor or physical therapist may suggest some exercises to keep the back muscles strong and help protect against future injury.

Surgery may be considered only after conservative therapy fails to adequately relieve the symptoms over a substantial period of time.  Microdiscectomy using small surgical instruments and open surgical repair (either from a posterior or anterior approach) may be performed to remove the protruding portion of the disc. In some cases spinal fusion may be performed to provide stability to the spine.

Disk Herniation - Lumbar Disk Herniation - Lumbar

Disk Herniation - Lumbar

You will need the Adobe Reader to view and print these documents.Get Adobe Reader

Our Providers - Peak Orthopedics & Spine
Introduction About Peak - Peak Orthopedics & Spine
Total & Partial Joint Replacements - Peak Orthopedics & Spine
Sports Medicine & Arthroscopy - Peak Orthopedics & Spine
Spinal Disorders & Deformity - Peak Orthopedics & Spine
Hand & Upper Extremity - Peak Orthopedics & Spine
PRP and other Specialty Services - Peak Orthopedics & Spine
Anterior Hip Replacement
Custom Fit and Robotic Knee Replacement - Peak Orthopedics & Spine
Advanced Anatomic Repair Shoulder Arthorscopy
Spinal Disc Replacements - Peak Orthopedics & Spine
Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Repair - Peak Orthopedics & Spine
Patient Forms - Peak Orthopedics & Spine
Pre Operative Instructions - Peak Orthopedics & Spine
Post Operative Instructions - Peak Orthopedics & Spine
Patient Surveys - Peak Orthopedics & Spine
News  - Peak Orthopedics & Spine
What Patients are Saying - Peak Orthopedics & Spine
Proud Partner of
PGA Colorado Section
Arthritis Foundation Rocky Vista University Sky Ridge Medical Center AAHKS
Facebook
YouTube Twitter
Reach Us Our Locations
Map 14100 E. Arapahoe Road Suite #370
Centennial, CO 80112
Phone: 303.699.7325
Fax: 303.699.5486
E-mail Us
Map (Mailing Address)
9777 S. Yosemite Street Suite #220
Lone Tree, CO 80124

© Peak Orthopedics & Spine PLLC Orthopaedic Surgery Denver Colorado

Your Practice Online
 
Sports Medicine Arthroscopy