A slipped disc is a common and general term used to describe displacement of an intervertebral disc. Intervertebral disks are found in between the vertebrae of the spinal column. They act as shock absorbers and allow for some degree of flexibility. A slipped disc is a somewhat nonspecific term, however the word “slipped” implies acute or sudden onset of symptoms and usually results from a disc herniation which occurs when the central core of the disc ruptures. The ruptured jelly-like inner core of the disc can put pressure on neighboring nerve roots and cause pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the affected arm or leg. A slipped or herniated disc often occurs as a result of degenerative disc disease when the integrity of the disc weakens and results in the rupturing of the disc wall.
Symptoms of Slipped Disc
Symptoms of a slipped disc vary based on the location of the disc in the spine and the extent of the rupturing. If the condition does not put pressure on a nerve, it may be unnoticeable. If the disc is in the neck or cervical spine, pain or numbness in the shoulders, arms or hands may result. A slipped disc in the lower back or lumbar spine may cause pain or numbness in the buttocks, legs or feet. In more severe cases, a slipped disc can result in weakness in the affected arm or leg. Sustained weakness, numbness, or intractable pain should alert the patient to seek immediate neurosurgical evaluation.
Treatment for Slipped Disc
The main causes of slipped disc are degenerative changes from the natural aging process or from injury such as improper lifting of heavy objects. Smoking and obesity also increases the risk of developing a slipped disc. Treatments for slipped disc include medication to relieve pain, exercises and physical therapy to relieve pressure on the spinal nerves.
In cases when conservative nonsurgical methods fail to relieve symptoms, surgical intervention may be required. Surgery is targeted at relieving the pressure from the nerve that is caused by the slipped disc. Surgery often involves minimally invasive microdiscectomy. The objective of this procedure is to remove the part of the disc that places pressure upon the affected nerve. The majority of the disc however is left behind.
At Princeton Neurological Surgery, Dr. Lipani is a board certified fellowship trained spine surgeon in New Jersey who performs minimally invasive spine surgery as well as complex spinal procedures. Dr. Lipani is a specialist in the treatment for slipped disc and many other spinal conditions such as spinal stenosis, herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, low back pain, neck pain, spinal tumors, spinal cancer and more. Dr. Lipani treats patients from around the world, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey including locally from Princeton, New Brunswick, Hopewell, Pennington and communities throughout Somerset, Middlesex, Ocean, Burlington, Monmouth and Mercer Counties for slipped disc. Dr. Lipani offers image guided spine surgery approaches for slipped disc treatment, tailored to the needs of each patient. For state-of-the-art slipped disc treatment, call or email us to schedule a consultation at our offices in Hamilton, New Jersey or Bridgewater, New Jersey!