Bulging Disc Treatment Options

Back Surgery Information

Bulging Disc Treatment Options

Inter-vertebral discs are cushions that are sandwiched between the vertebrae. Also called herniated discs, ruptured discs occur when the peripheral capsule discs tear and the material that composes the disc starts protruding into the spine canal. As a result, it presses on the nerve roots and can cause tremendous pain. As more disc material that is central escapes from its capsule it will cause more spinal cord pressure if not treated or given time to heal.

Of all the treatments for people suffering from spinal column ruptured discs, bulging disc surgery is usually the treatment of choice for persons whose conditions did not respond favorably to treatment methods that were less invasive.

Spinal discs can at times squeeze out from in between vertebras due to congenital spinal conditions or back injuries. Although bulging discs are not by themselves a problem, they can lead to arm, leg and back weakness as well as numbness and pain.

Usually, doctors use conservative methods for treating ruptured discs before having to resort to bulging disc surgery in order to correct the problem. This is because oftentimes, back problems do heal themselves with proper treatment, physical therapy and rest.

Bulging disc surgery is only considered an option after many months of very little improvement or when pain is so extreme that the person suffering is no longer able to engage in daily activities.

A discectomy seems to be the most popular type of bulging disc surgery. When using this surgical procedure, surgeons remove the parts of the disc which are bulging in order to relieve the nerve pressure causing weakness or pain.

Usually, surgeons need to remove the vertebra portion either below or above the bulging disc in order to adequately access it. Many patients need physical therapy after the procedure and it may require many months before they can return to their regular daily routines.

Sometime a surgeon may perform a lumber disc fusion. A lumbar disc fusion connects two or more vertebrae for pain reduction from a disc that has been injured or deteriated. Lumbar fusions tend to be very successful at pain elimination as well as all other problems that come from having a bulging disc. This procedure, however, increases the risks of disc and vertebrae weakening both below and above the points that have been fused. This can require more surgery in the future. For this reason other procedures are used when possible.

Another option for bulging disc surgery is the complete replacement of the injured disc. Surgeons are now able to replace bulging discs with synthetic discs which reduce risks of further problems that will require surgery or therapy.

Disc replacement is usually the last resort that is reserved for patients continuing to experience bulging disc problems after other surgeries and treatments have failed to give relief, and for patients who have discs that have degenerated or have worn thin to the point they are no longer able to cushion the vertebrae.

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