Bulging discs most often develop as the body ages and can be painful and debilitating.
A bulging disc is formed when the soft, spongy center of the intervertebral disc pushes out and places pressure on the outer surrounding ligament. A bulging disc can also be caused by trauma of some sort such as a car accident or lifting something heavy. A bulging disc can be problematic when the protrusion enters into the spaces of the spinal canal. This occurrence is referred to as spinal stenosis.
Although symptoms may vary from person to person, the primary factors determining the diagnosis of a bulging disc are the location of the pain and level of damage to the disc.
Common symptoms include:
- Neck: pain, tingling or numbness may radiate through shoulders, arms, chest, hands and fingers
- Thoracic: pain may radiate throughout chest to the upper thigh
- Lumbar: pain may radiatel from lower back to the buttocks, legs and feet.
Possible Treatment –
The Bonati Arthroscopic Laser Discectomy
In this procedure performed by Chief Orthopaedic Surgeon, Alfred O. Bonati M.D., or another Bonati Spine Institute surgeon, the portion of the disc that is causing nerve compression can effectively be removed through a small incision. With the patient awake, a needle is placed into the area of the disc that is producing symptoms. A small incision is made on the patient’s back and the endoscopic tube is inserted.
Using specially adapted endoscopic instruments, the diseased disc material is removed and then a laser vaporizes the surrounding problem tissue. A laser is then used to shrink and remodel the remaining disc. A small loose dressing is used to cover the incision.