When you are searching for a solution to a problem, the advice of experts can come in very handy. So, if you are trying to find the best treatment for a herniated disc, it helps to know how top surgeons would treat this painful condition. Here’s how the experts at DISC Sports & Spine Center, some of the top spine surgeons in Newport Beach, California, treat herniated discs.
Ensure You Have an Accurate Diagnosis
The discs in your spine are made of a tough outer layer that encases a jelly-like inner layer. A herniated disc refers to when the outer layer develops a tear, allowing the inner disc material to leak out into your spinal canal. The disc fragment can put pressure on your spinal cord or nerve roots in that area, causing pain, numbness, or weakness along the nerve path—meaning it can radiate from your neck or back into your arms or legs.
But did you know that it’s possible to have a herniated disc and NOT have any symptoms? Just because a herniated disc is seen on MRI, that doesn’t mean it is the source of your pain. Instead, DISC surgeons know that an accurate diagnosis involves looking at several components: your description of symptoms and medical history, a thorough physical examination, and appropriate imaging studies. All of this information should be considered together to determine if your problems are originating from a herniated disc.
Discuss Your Treatment Goals and Options
DISC surgeons recognize that not all herniated discs should be treated the same. Rather, each case should be considered individually. Multiple factors—including the severity and duration of your pain, your age, your health, and your activity level—should come into play when discussing treatment options.
What can you reasonably expect after treatment? What are you willing to do, or not do, to get there? What questions or concerns do you have about treating your herniated disc? A great surgeon will have this conversation with you.
Attempt Non-Surgical Treatments First, If Appropriate
Unless it’s a true medical emergency, such as the rare case in which a herniated disc causes problems with bladder, bowel control, and foot drop surgeons at DISC will start with conservative treatments first. Often times herniated discs can heal on their own, but may be painful. Conservative treatments include:
- Rest for a few days
- Physical therapy
- Medications, such as over-the-counter or prescription pain medications and muscle relaxants
- Corticosteroid injections into the area around the spinal nerves
These treatments should be given several weeks to take full effect. Quite often, the pain and inflammation associated with a herniated disc will improve and many experience lasting relief without needing surgery.
Utilize Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery When Necessary
If your pain continues to interfere with your daily life, you experience worsening weakness or numbness in your extremities, you have difficulty walking, or you develop bladder or bowel incontinence, surgery may be needed. In these situations, your DISC surgeon will carefully consider what type of surgery is most appropriate for you and look for a minimally invasive procedure to accomplish it. For example, a microdiscectomy uses small incisions and a special microscope to remove the herniated disc material that is pressing on a nerve.
Compared to traditional spine surgery, minimally invasive spine surgery results in:
- Shorter hospitalizations—in fact, this type of surgery is often performed on an outpatient basis, allowing you to go home the same night
- Fewer infections
- Less bleeding
- Less pain
- Quicker recovery
How Top Surgeons at DISC Treat Herniated Discs in Newport Beach, CA
If you are in the Newport Beach, CA area and looking for a top surgeon to treat your herniated discs, schedule a consultation with one of DISC’s top spine specialists. Regarded as pioneers in the field, DISC surgeons utilize a highly personalized approach to treatment. The result? Extremely satisfied patients who experience great outcomes.
DISC patients are not only happy; they’re safe, too. DISC’s board-certified and fellowship-trained surgeons operate in a state-of-the-art outpatient facility, utilizing stringent infection control protocols. This is why DISC has a zero percent MRSA infection rate, compared to the 5-10 percent rate seen in hospitals.
It’s time to stop living in discomfort. Let a top surgeon at DISC Sports & Spine Center in Newport Beach, CA provide you with a non-invasive or minimally invasive treatment for your herniated discs.
About the author
Robert S. Bray, Jr., M.D. Nicknamed “Dr. Fix-It” by The Red Bulletin, Robert S. Bray, Jr., M.D. makes an art of helping the world’s most elite athletes return to push the boundaries of performance. The neurological spine surgeon, recognized globally for his thorough diagnoses and pioneering minimally invasive approach, is quickly redefining sports medicine, one champion at a time. Dr. Bray founded the state-of-the-art, multi-disciplinary DISC Sports & Spine Center (DISC) in 2006 located in Los Angeles, CA. Read more articles by Robert S. Bray, Jr., M.D..