Lumbar and Cervical discs are prone to degeneration and prolapse due to their secondary acquired curvatures.
Each disc consists of Outer Annulus, and Inner Nucleus Pulposus. As annulus becomes weak, or becomes degenerative, or ruptures secondary to an injury; the nucleus pulposus material extrudes into the spinal canal or the nerve root region. This produces pressure on the nerves producing Sciatica like symptoms.
Technically called a Prolapse Intervertebral disc syndrome; traditionally, it has been labelled as Slipped disc.
A disc protrusion can produce pressure on the spinal cord itself, or on one of the exiting nerve roots producing the typical symptoms.
Treatment of a herniated disc depends on a number of factors including:
•Symptoms experienced by the patient
•Age of the patient
•Activity level of the patient
•Presence of worsening symptoms or neurologic deficit
More than 90 percent patients of new onset Sciatica or disc prolapse, can be satisfactorily treated without surgery. However, there is small chance of recurrence.
Activity and lifestyle modification is important to prevent recurrence.
A word of caution to be remembered in such cases: Any patient with neurologic deficit, or worsening pain despite adequate conservative trial, or those presenting with loss of bladder/ bowel control are candidates with significant pressure on the spinal cord or the exiting nerve roots.
Such patients MUST seek Orthopaedic opinion, and may require surgical intervention.Leave a reply →