Many people suffer from neck pain, back pain, leg pain, or weakness of the extremity muscles due to a herniated disc. The spinal disc is a soft cushion that sits between each vertebra of the spine. This spinal disc becomes less elastic with age and is more vulnerable to injury. As the spinal disc becomes less elastic, it may rupture due to stress on the body. When the disc ruptures, a portion of the spinal disc pushes outside its normal boundary. This is called a herniated disc. When a disc bulges out from between the vertebrae, it constricts the spinal nerves that are located very close to the disc. Therefore, the spinal nerves and spinal cord can become pinched causing pain, numbness, weakness and other symptoms. There is normally enough extra space around the spinal cord and spinal nerves, but if enough of the herniated disc is bulging, these structures may be compressed.
A herniated disc is often referred to as a slipped disc. This term came from the action of the nuclear tissue when it is forced from the center of the disc. The nuclear tissue located in the center of the disc can be placed under so much pressure that it can cause the disc to rupture.
Disc herniation mostly takes place in the lower area of the spine. Lumbar disc herniation occurs 15 times more often than cervical (neck) disc herniation, and it is one of the most common causes of sciatica or lower back pain.
A herniated disc is often confused with a bulging disc. The difference between a herniated disc and a bulging disc is whether the disc is contained or not.
• A Contained Disc: such as a bulging disc — has not broken through the outer wall of the intervertebral disc, which means the nucleus pulposus remains contained within the annulus fibrosus.
• A Non-Contained Disc: Lumbar spinal stenosis is caused by the compression of nerve roots in the lower back and often manifests as tingling, numbness or pain that radiates from the lower back and down to the buttocks or legs.
A bulging disc may be a precursor to a herniation. The disc may protrude into the spinal canal without breaking through the disc wall. The gel-like interior (nucleus pulposus) does not leak out. The disc remains intact except a small bubble appears on the outside of the disc.
The Bonati Spine Institute’s treatment for a herniated disc can effectively return you to a normal lifestyle sooner than other surgical alternatives. We advocate patients suffering from herniated discs to contact us to request a no-obligation MRI review or discussion with one of our spine surgeons to see if you are a candidate for the Bonati Spine Procedures. Find out why The Bonati Procedures are considered to be among the world’s best solutions when it comes to spine surgery.