A herniated disc is a painful condition that can limit your mobility over time. At Academy of Neurosurgical Physicians in Hollywood, Florida, neurological surgeon Anthony Hall, MD, CM, FACS, FAANS, performs a variety of surgical procedures to treat disc herniations. To schedule an appointment with the neurological surgery team at Academy of Neurological Physicians, call or book online now.
Herniated discs occur when the intervertebral discs in your spine become damaged. Your spine includes a series of vertebrae. To give your spine flexibility, discs sit in between each individual vertebra. That allows the spine to bend and move comfortably.
Intervertebral discs contain a hard shell encasing softer material. Over time, wear-and-tear can erode your discs, causing the softer center to break through. When discs become herniated, the gel-like center can irritate surrounding nerves. That can lead to chronic back or neck pain that impacts your mobility.
Disc herniations depend on the location and severity of the damaged disc. There are typically two types of herniations: cervical and lumbar. While cervical herniations affect the neck, lumbar herniations generally impact the lower back.
Common symptoms of disc herniations include:
As the disc deteriorates, it can interfere with your ability to walk, sit, or stand for long periods.
Disc herniations are common with age. As you get older, your discs become increasingly prone to disc degeneration, which can lead to cracks and tears that cause a herniation. However, there are several risk factors that raise your chances of developing disc herniations, such as:
If your parents or siblings experience disc herniations, you are more likely to develop spinal wear-and-tear as well.
Carrying excess weight puts pressure on the spine, which can damage your discs. Maintaining a healthy weight can help relieve stress from your spine.
Smoking cigarettes interferes with your discs’ ability to receive healthy oxygen, which can lead to degeneration.
If you work in a job that demands physical labor, or you sit at a desk all day, your spine can become strained and become damaged.
After reviewing your medical records and performing a physical exam, your neurological surgeon at Academy of Neurosurgical Physicians may order imaging tests. Tests include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), X-rays, and computed tomography (CT) scans. They may also order blood work to determine the appropriate treatment for your condition.
While the goal is to help relieve your pain through non-surgical solutions, such as physical therapy and injections, you may need surgery to repair or replace your damaged disc. Depending on your unique condition, your neurological surgeon may recommend:
The team also uses the DTRAX® Spinal System, which supports minimally invasive surgery for cervical facet fusion procedures in the neck.
To learn more about disc herniations, call Academy of Neurosurgical Physicians or schedule an appointment online now.