Desert Spine and Scoliosis Center, an Orthopedic Spine Surgery practice serving the Phoenix area, routinely deals with patients suffering from Lumbar Disc Herniation.
Each of the vertebra of the spinal column are separated by intervertebral discs (IVDs). The IVD is a unique structure capable of absorbing the shock and pressures created by gravity on the spine as the body moves. Occasionally, however, these discs can become weak and degenerated. In this state, a gel-like portion of the disc, typically confined to the center of the disc, can herniate through the tough outer ring of the disc, causing a large bulge. This bulge can exert pressure on the spinal nerves, which can result in pain, weakness, numbness and tingling to enter the lower limbs (termed ‘lumbar radiculopathy’.)
Common Symptoms of Lumbar Disc Herniation:
- Persistent lower back pain and stiffness.
- Sharp pain in the back aggravated by sitting and certain movements.
- Pain in the buttock, hip and leg.
- Numbness and tingling in the legs and feet.
Diagnosis of Lumbar Disc Herniation
The diagnosis of lumbar disc herniation is typically made by a combination of physical examination and medical imaging (e.g. X-rays and MRIs.) Under certain circumstances, a disc herniation may cause other conditions such as lumbar radiculopathy. In these situations, additional testing may be performed to determine the full scope and nature of the individual patient’s presentation.
Orthopedic Spine Surgery for Lumbar Disc Herniations
In many cases, lumbar disc herniations do not require spine surgery. This decision can be made following an examination by a trained orthopedic spine surgeon. In extreme cases, however, surgery may be the best option to stabilize the spine and remove a portion of the offending disc to alleviate pain and reduced risk of injury to neural structures. In rare cases, it may be necessary to remove the offending disc. Desert Spine and Scoliosis Center is proud to be one of the few surgical centers in Arizona offering the artificial disc procedure, which is a cutting-edge alternative to traditional surgical procedures for compromised lumbar discs.