What is a Disc Extrusion?
A disc extrusion, also called a herniated disc, is a spine condition that affects the spinal discs that cushion the vertebrae, allowing the spine to bend and flex smoothly. The discs are made up of two parts: a tough outer layer and a softer inner core. As part of the natural aging process, the outer layer can become weak and brittle over time, leading to cracks and tears. When this happens, inner disc material can be pushed out into the spinal column, resulting in disc extrusion symptoms.
BEST Health System is a spine and orthopaedic ambulatory center. Our goal is to help patients find the least invasive, most effective treatment option. We understand how debilitating chronic pain can be, and we strive to help you find a solution. A disc extrusion can manifest very painful symptoms throughout the body. Continue reading to learn about six of the most common symptoms.
Disc Extrusion Symptoms
When a disc tear occurs, the disc itself can hurt if the nucleus material irritates nerves in the disc’s outer wall. If extruded disc material puts pressure on a nerve in the spinal column, it can cause a number of more serious symptoms. Here are six symptoms that are commonly associated with nerve root compression caused by a disc extrusion. These symptoms are:
- Pain at the site of the compressed nerve
- Pain that radiates along the path of the compressed nerve
- Loss of reflexes
- Numbness or tingling
- Muscle weakness
- Cramping or muscle spasms
The area of the body that these symptoms affect greatly depends on where in the spine the extrusion occurs. Disc extrusions can affect the lumbar (lower) region of the spine, causing symptoms in the hips, legs, and feet. A disc extrusion in the cervical (upper) region will cause symptoms to appear in the head, neck, shoulders, arms, and hands.
Treatment with BEST Health System
Patients are often able to find relief from their pain through a course of conservative treatment. This may include physical therapy, pain medication, injections, and hot and cold compresses. However, a physician may recommend surgery for patients who have attempted several months of conservative treatment without finding the relief needed for a good quality of life.
If your physician recommends surgery, it is important to consider all your options. Although traditional surgery may seem like the only choice, there are modern surgical solutions. At BEST Health System, we offer minimally invasive surgical procedures which result in less scarring and a faster recovery, all on an outpatient basis. Contact BEST to learn more.