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Disc Protrusion Symptoms and Treatment


If you suspect you might be experiencing the symptoms of a spinal disc protrusion or a slipped disc, please reach out to us. We’re here to help. You can also explore some of our Patient Success Stories for more insights.

Understanding Disc Protrusion or “Slipped Disc”

Spinal discs serve as cushions between the vertebrae of the spinal column. Comprising a soft center and a multi-layered wall, these discs occasionally face problems when a part of the wall weakens. This can result in bulging or disruption, leading to what many term as a “slipped disc.” The condition may cause the soft “Nucleus Pulposus” to extend into the spinal canal, potentially irritating or compressing the nerves.

Identifying the Pain

Disc protrusions can manifest anywhere along the spine, from the neck to the lower back. Medical professionals employ precise terminology to ensure accurate communication and diagnosis.

Diagnostic Challenges

Standard diagnostic methods, relying on pain distribution patterns and imaging scans, often fall short in pinpointing the pain’s true source. Our approach incorporates feedback during surgery in an aware state, providing real-time insights.

Site-specific Symptoms

  • Lower Back: Pain in the lower back, buttock, or leg can indicate a disc protrusion. Severe cases might experience numbness or “foot drop.”
  • Neck: Symptoms include neck pain, headaches, or discomfort in the face, shoulders, arms, and hands.
  • Chest or Abdomen: Pain radiating around the chest or abdomen might be due to a disc protrusion in the thoracic spine.

Initial Treatment

The first episode of pain often subsides within a few weeks. Treatment includes anti-inflammatory drugs, pain control medications, and posture correction.

Treatment for Recurrent Attacks

For chronic or recurring symptoms, treatment might involve conservative therapy, open surgery, or minimally invasive spine surgery. Each method offers distinct benefits and risks.

Surgical Options Overview

Procedure Complications Success Rate at Year 2
Microdiscectomy 6% (Recurrent protrusions 3 – 13%) Leg pain (90%)
Open Decompression 8% (Instability & Scarring) Approx. 75%
Instrumented Fusion 11 – 18% 60%
Total Disc Replacement 16 – 45% 50%
Interspinous Spacers Spinous Process Fractures, etc. Insufficient Data
Endoscopic Transforaminal Decompression 2.4% 80%
Thank you - From the Spinal Foundation