There are many terms used to describe spinal disc pathology and associated pain, such as “herniated disc,” “pinched nerve,”,”bulging disc,” and “Slipped Disk” and all are used differently and, at times, interchangeably. As a disc degenerates, the soft inner gel in the disc can leak back into the spinal canal. This is known as disc herniation, or herniated disc. Once inside the spinal canal, the herniated disc material then puts pressure on the nerve, causing pain to radiate down the nerve leading to sciatica or leg pain (from a lumbar herniated disc) or arm pain (from a cervical herniated disc).
Causes of a Herniated Disc
A slipped disk occurs when the outer ring becomes weak or torn and allows the inner portion to slip out. This can happen with age. Certain motions may also cause a slipped disk. A disk can slip out of place while you are twisting or turning to lift an object. Lifting a very large, heavy object can place great strain on the lower back, resulting in a slipped disk. If you have a very physically demanding job that requires a lot of lifting, you may be at increased risk for slipped disks.
Overweight individuals are also at increased risk for a slipped disk because their disks must support the additional weight. Weak muscles and a sedentary lifestyle may also contribute to development of a slipped disk.
People who are 35 to 45 years old are more likely to have a slipped disk, according to the Mayo Clinic. This is because your disks begin to lose some of their protective water content as you age. As a result, they can slip more easily out of place. They are more common in men than women
- Symptoms of a Herniated Disc
- A slipped disk can place extra pressure on the nerves and muscles around it.
Symptoms of a slipped disk include:
- pain and numbness, most commonly on one side of the body
- pain that extends to your arms and/or legs
- pain that worsens at night
- pain that worsens after standing or sitting
- pain when walking short distances
- unexplained muscle weakness
- tingling, aching, or burning sensations in the affected area
- Electric Shock Pain
- Bladder or Bowel Problems
- The types of pain can vary from person to person.
The Surgeon will first perform a physical exam. Surgeon will be looking for the source of your pain and discomfort. This will involve checking your nerve functions and muscle strength, and whether you feel pain when moving or touching the affected area. Your aurgeon also will ask you about your medical history, your symptoms, when you first felt symptoms and what activities cause your pain to worsen.
Imaging tests can help your surgeon view the bones and muscles of your spine and identify any damaged areas. Examples of imaging scans include:
- CT scans
- MRI scans
- discograms, which are rarely utilized
The surgeon can combine all these pieces of information to determine what is causing your pain, weakness, and/or discomfort.
Herniated Disc Treatment
Treatments for a slipped disk range from conservative to surgical. The treatment typically depends on the level of discomfort you are experiencing and how far the disk has slipped out of place. The surgeon advises that most patients can relieve slipped disk pain using an exercise program that stretches and strengthens the back and surrounding muscles. A physical therapist may recommend exercises that can strengthen your back while reducing your pain.
Taking over-the-counter pain relievers and avoiding heavy lifting and painful positions can also help. If your slipped disk pain does not respond to over-the-counter treatments, The surgeon may prescribe stronger medications. These include:
- muscle relaxers to relieve muscle spasms
- narcotics to relieve pain
- nerve pain medications like gabapentin or duloxetine
Your sugeon may recommend surgery if your symptoms do not subside in six weeks or if your slipped disk is affecting your muscle function. Your surgeon may simply remove the damaged or protruding portion of the disk without removing the entire disk. This is called a microdiskectomy.
In more severe cases, your surgeon may replace the disk with an artificial one or remove the disk and fuse your vertebrae together. This procedure, called a laminectomy, adds stability to your spinal column.
Herniated Disc Surgery
A herniated disc surgery can treat many conditions like–
- Pinched Nerve
- Back Pain
- Spine Stenosis
- Disc Rupture
- Arthritis of Spine
Types of Surgery for a Herniated Disc
After gathering all the information they can, your surgeon may recommend one of these surgeries. In some cases, a person may require a combination of surgeries.
In a laminotomy, a surgeon makes an opening in the vertebral arch (lamina) to relieve pressure on your nerve roots. This procedure is performed through a small incision with the aid of a microscope. If necessary, the lamina can be removed. This is called a laminectomy.
Diskectomy is the most common surgery used for herniated disk in the lumbar region. In this procedure, the portion of the disk that is causing the pressure on your nerve root is removed. In some cases, the entire disk is removed.
The surgeon will access the disk through an incision in your back (or neck). When possible, your surgeon will use a smaller incision and special instruments to achieve the same results. This newer, less invasive procedure is called microdiskectomy. In some cases, these procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis.
Artificial Disk Surgery
For artificial disk surgery, you’ll be under a general anesthesia. This surgery is usually used for a single disk when the problem is in the lower back. It’s not a good option if you have arthritis or osteoporosis, or when more than one disk shows degeneration.
For this procedure, the surgeon enters through an incision in your abdomen. The damaged disk is replaced with an artificial disk made from plastic and metal. You may need to stay in the hospital for a few days.
General anesthesia is required for spinal fusion. In this procedure, two or more vertebrae are permanently fused together. This may be accomplished with bone grafts from another part of your body or from a donor. It may also involve metal or plastic screws and rods designed to provide additional support. This will permanently immobilize that portion of your spine.
Spinal fusion usually requires a hospital stay of several days
Laser Therapy for a Herniated Disc
In this Therapy A laser beam is used for vaporizing a small part of the disc in order to decompress it.
Benefits of Laser therapy for a Herinated Disc
1)Remove inflammation; 2) Decrease pain; 3) Increase the tensile strength of all living tissue; 4) Decrease scar tissue formation; Shrink swollen, enlarged living tissue; 5) Increase new capillary growth in the outer third portion of the disc (this makes the disc stronger and healthier); 6) Repair torn disc fibers in the outer third; 7) Decrease the actual amount of disc herniation; 8) Heal painfully inflamed nerve roots; 9) Make the disc stronger and healthy
Cost of a Herniated Disc Surgery
One of The main benefits of India is that Herniated surgery cost is very low and also all the hospitals offer more advanced technology.