Commonly known as herniated discs, disc extrusions are caused by a weakened disc wall, or annulus fibrosus, rupturing due to age or injury. This outer wall is what keeps the soft, jelly-like center of the disc contained, creating a type of cushion for the vertebrae to bend and move freely. When a disc becomes ruptured or herniated, an annular tear occurs, allowing the jelly-like center to spill into the spinal cavity causing irritation, inflammation and pinched nerves.
Disc extrusion diagnosis
Patients typically feel some form of tingling, numbness, loss of motion, or pain from the source of the extrusion. When these symptoms radiate down into the arms or legs, it may be nerve-related irritation or compression often caused by herniated discs. An MRI will be needed to assess the structure and integrity of the spine. A physical exam is necessary to detail the origin of the pain and the severity of symptoms. In cases where surgery is needed to repair the suspect disc, a discogram will be needed to further confirm the location of the problematic disc.
Disc extrusion treatment
Disc extrusions have been safely treated with surgery for years. The most common surgery used is a spinal fusion. With spinal fusion, the goal is to remove the herniated part of the disc. This type of surgery is usually successful, but often has a longer recovery time because it results in damage to the surrounding tissue.
Deuk Spine Institute uses a patented endoscopic spine surgery called Deuk Laser Disc Repair. Endoscopic spine surgery makes use of tiny surgical instruments with cameras at the end. This allows a surgeon to remove only the herniated piece without interfering with the normal part of the disc. This minimally invasive procedure involves no metal implants and patients go home the same day.
Watch the video below to learn more about disc extrusions and how to treat them:
Are you or a loved one experiencing pain from a disc extrusion? Deuk Spine Institute is always accepting new patient inquiries. To learn more about treating disc extrusions, contact us or give us a call at 1-800-FIX-MY-BACK.