Herniated Disc

Herniated Disc

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A herniated disc in most cases is the culprit that causes lower back pain and is often referred to as a slipped or ruptured disc.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons sixty to eighty percent of people will have back pain at some point in their life and a high percentage of lower back/leg pain is caused by a herniated disc.

Causes

  • Aging/Wear and tear
  • Sedentary Lifestyle – Consistent exercise is critical as it helps to prevent several medical conditions from developing.
  • Gender – Men between 30 and 50 are more susceptible to herniated discs.
  • Repetitive actions – Constant lifting, pulling, bending, or twisting can cause a herniated disc.  It’s important to use safe lifting and movement techniques to protect your back.
  • Weight – When a body is overweight it causes extra stress on the discs in the lower back.
  • Smoking – Smoking is believed to lessen oxygen supply to the disc and causes more rapid degeneration.

Symptoms

  • Back Pain
  • Deep Muscle Pain
  • Spasms
  • Tingling or numbness in the leg or foot
  • Weakness in the legs and loss of bladder or bowel control (extremely rare) might indicate a more serious problem known as cauda equine syndrome, which develops when spinal nerve roots are being compressed.  Immediate medical attention is required.

Treatment

There are several non-surgical solutions available to improve symptoms of a herniated disc.

  • Rest – If you are experiencing severe back pain, 1-2 days of rest will calm the pain.  Don’t stay off your feet any longer than your initial rest period.  Take several breaks throughout the day and avoid sitting for long periods of time.  Use controlled and slow movements and change your daily activities to avoid further pain.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications – Ibuprofen or naproxen may temporarily relieve back pain.
  • Physical Therapy – Trained specialists with experience in specific exercises can strengthen your muscles.
  • Epidural steroid injection – Steroids are injected into your back to minimize inflammation.

Whether you suffer from wear-and-tear or a spinal injury, Blue Ridge Orthopaedic & Spine Center offers the best care available for a wide variety of spine/neck related ailments.   Blue Ridge Orthopaedic & Spine Center’s physicians have extensive experience treating nearly every kind of condition, including spinal trauma of the neck and back, tumors and infections, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, and adult degenerative conditions of the next and back.

To schedule an appointment with our spine specialists please call 540.347.9220 (Warrenton office) or 703.743.2814 (Gainesville office) and don’t forget to visit us @ www.broava.com for all comprehensive services offered by Blue Ridge Orthopaedic & Spine Center.

Our Spine Center of Excellence

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Poor posture, trauma, improper lifting, and aging – all of these factors can injure your spine and cause pain.  Whether caused by injury or the normal wear and tear of time, spine-related ailments require the best care available.

Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center’s board certified physicians have extensive experience treating nearly every kind of condition, including spinal trauma of the neck and back, tumors and infections, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, and adult degenerative conditions of the neck and back.

Blue Ridge Orhopaedic & Spine Center offers a range of non-operative treatments as well as minimally invasive treatments –

  • Physical Therapy
  • Bracing
  • Pain Management
  • Acupuncture
  • Sympathetic Block Procedures
  • Kyphoplasty/Vertebroplasty
  • Interspinous Process decompression (X-STOP, ILIF)
  • Limited Approach Discectomy
  • Spinal Stenosis Surgery
  • Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion
  • Posterior Cervical Laminectomy
  • Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF, TLIF,XLIF)

Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center offers the best comprehensive musculoskeletal care available for a wide variety of spine-related ailments.  To schedule an appointment with our spine specialists or simply for more information please call (540) 347-9220.  Visit www.broava.com to learn more about the services we offer.

Our Goal – Get YOU Back to GOOD Health

What is a Percutaneous Discectomy Procedure?

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Surgery Overview

Percutaneous means “through the skin” or using a very small cut. Discectomy is surgery to remove herniated disc material that is pressing on a nerve root or the spinal cord.

There are many different kinds of percutaneous discectomy procedures. All of them use small instruments that are inserted between the vertebrae and into the middle of the disc. Most of the time they are done in a surgery center using local or general anesthesia.

X-rays help guide the movement of the instruments during surgery. The surgeon can remove disc tissue by either:

  • Cutting it out.
  • Sucking out the center of the disc.
  • Using lasers to burn or destroy the disc.

What To Expect After Surgery

You can expect to go home on the same day you have the procedure.

You can use prescription medicine to control pain while you recover.

For several weeks after surgery, you’ll need to avoid long periods of sitting and avoid bending, twisting, and lifting.

Why It Is Done

Percutaneous discectomy may be done if:

  • Your medical history, physical exam, and diagnostic tests (such as MRI, CT scan, or myelogram) show that the disc is bulging, and the material inside the disc hasn’t ruptured into the spinal canal.
  • Pain and nerve damage have not improved after 4 or more weeks of nonsurgical treatment.
  • Your symptoms are very bad and get in the way of doing normal activities.
  • There are signs of serious nerve damage in your leg that may be getting worse. These signs include severe weakness, loss of coordination, or loss of feeling.

It should not be done if you have:

  • Pieces of disc material in the spinal canal (as seen on a CT scan or MRI).
  • Narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis).

For more information regarding Percutaneous Discectomy please contact the spine specialists @ Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center at 540.347.9220 or visit our website www.broava.com.