What is a Herniated Disc?
Here at New Jersey Spine Specialists, we’ve just started our blog to educate the public on important issues regarding spinal conditions, spinal injuries and spinal care, and we’re very excited about it. We thought of calling our blog “The Spinal Column,” but decided we’ll just call it “Our blog” for now. Let us know if you have other suggestions. In the meantime, we want to talk about herniated discs in this particular blog, because we find there’s a lot of confusion about what this condition is, and what treatment options are available.
A herniated disk occurs when a bulging disc ruptures – or herniates in medical terminology – through the wall of the intervertebral disc. The rupture allows viscous material from the interior of the disc to leak into the spinal canal, where it can impinge on nerves and cause pain and other problems – even partial paralysis. A herniated disc can be caused by an injury, but similar to degenerative disc disease, often results from the process of aging. Also like degenerative disc disease, the herniation can occur in any part of the spine, and can affect the associated nerves. A herniated lumbar disc, on the lower part of the spine, can cause pain that radiates down the legs and into the feet, and can cause shooting pain in the legs referred to as sciatica. A herniated cervical disc – that is, in the neck region – can cause pain that radiates from the neck to the shoulders, down the arms and into the fingers.
In the past, treatments for a herniated disc were restricted to medication, rest, spinal injections and traditional open surgery. However, over the last decade, minimally invasive surgical procedures that can be performed on an outpatient basis have been perfected. These spinal therapies offer a safe and effective option for some cases of herniated discs and many other spinal conditions.
If you’d like to know more about herniated disc therapy or other spinal care subjects, our board certified orthopedic surgeons are available for consultation. We have state-of-the-art facilities in Summit and Montclair, New Jersey, making us conveniently located and near towns like Glen Ridge, Millburn, Livingston and communities throughout Somerset and Middlesex Counties. With convenient access to Liberty International Airport, patients from around the world have sought out our advanced care capabilities. We welcome you to schedule an appointment with us to learn what treatment options are available to you.