The spinal discs are some of the most important parts of the human body.

In addition to being attached to peoples’ vertebrae, they help in absorbing shocks, keep your spine stable, and help create a full frame of movement.

However, under improper conditions, these discs can deteriorate over time or even be pushed out of alignment, a phenomenon known as disc protrusion. These, along with other conditions, can lead to several problems, including sciatica, degenerative disc disease, and more. The key to properly treating these conditions is to know the risk factors, symptoms, and methods of treatment for disc issues. That way, patients are able to fully recover as quickly as possible.

Although dangerous physical activities can be major factors in disc issues occurring, several other risk factors can heighten the chances of injury, including obesity, poor posture, and cigarette smoking. When disc issues do arise, symptoms such as back pain (specifically pain that heightens when bending, coughing or laughing) or a feeling of numbness or pins-and-needles in your arms and legs.

Disc issues can arise in many forms, as previously mentioned. In addition to disc protrusion and disc strain, there is sciatica, which is when nerve pain that can span across the lower half of the body is caused by damage on the sciatic nerve, and degenerative disc disease, which is when the natural growth of spinal discs that comes with age causes pain and is often thought to be the leading cause of back pain among other people.

When you first feel any of the aforementioned symptoms, the diagnosis process includes taking a look at your previous medical history and doing a physical. If you are screened and found to have any disc diseases, there are several treatment methods meant to hasten recovery. Some are medicinal, such as using heat packs or wraps, while others are more behavioral, such as the usage of manual therapy and/or massages. In drastic cases however, sometimes it may be necessary to undergo surgery. Although this may sound harrowing at first, there is a newer type of surgery that is much easier to go and less invasive than its peers: minimally invasive lumbar discectomy.

The goal of minimally invasive lumbar discectomy is to fix spinal discs, much like traditional open lumbar surgery.

Unlike its predecessor, a minimally invasive approach involves creating small incisions to remove parts of the disc(s) that are damaged, thus easing pressure on the spinal cord. The removal can occur in several ways, from removing them via a small tube that is inserted between your vertebrae to using a laser. Either way, you will not have to have any bones or muscles removed, unlike open lumbar surgery, thus minimizing the amount of recovery time needed and leaving less scarring.

Our providers here at NJ Spine and Wellness cover a broad range of treatments and specialties designed to optimize your recovery goals. Our surgeons include Dr. Alok Sharan, Director of Spine and Orthopedics at NJ Spine and Wellness in Matawan, New Jersey, specifically specializes in minimally invasive surgery on the spine. Feel free to look more into what we can do for you, so and contact us at any of our four main offices! We look forward to hearing from you!


Sources

The Johns Hopkins University, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Health System. (n.d.). Minimally Invasive Lumbar Discectomy Facebook Twitter Linkedin Pinterest Print. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Retrieved October 27, 2021, from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/minimally-invasive-lumbar-discectomy.

The Johns Hopkins University, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Health System. (n.d.). Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Retrieved October 27, 2021, from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/minimally-invasive-spine-surgery.

State of Victoria. (n.d.). Back pain – disc problems. Better Health Channel. Retrieved October 27, 2021, from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/back-pain-disc-problems.