(PRWEB) August 15, 2014
Undoubtedly, a slipped disc, or herniated disc, is a very painful condition caused by a bulging disc in the spine that wreaks havoc on the nerves nearby. Dr. Kiaxuan Liu of Atlantic Spine Center explains that slipped discs are often the result of general wear and tear or disc weakening with age followed by a sudden injury to the disc such as the kind you experience when you lift something that is too heavy.
A large percentage of slipped discs occur in the lumbar, or lower, region of the spine. If a disc has “slipped” or herniated, a patient will feel pain at the sight of the disc injury. If the disc is pressing on nerves, patients can experience pain in the back, buttocks and legs, and have sensory changes such as numbness and tingling that can travel all the way down to the toes.
If an injury to the disc does occur, conservative treatments are tried for a reasonable amount of time to see if the disc problem can resolve on its own. Unfortunately, if all else fails, Dr. Liu says sometimes surgery is needed.
In the case of a contained herniation (no other structures are involved or damaged), a minimally invasive procedure called an endoscopic laser discectomy can be used to repair the disc. This is a procedure where a tiny endoscope is used to visualize the damaged area and a laser is used to repair the disc. The procedure vaporizes the damaged disc material, kills the pain nerves within the disc and hardens the outer wall to help prevent recurrence of the herniation.
An endoscopic discectomy typically takes less than two hours and can be done in an outpatient, day surgery, setting. Alternatively to the older traditional surgeries for a slipped disc, this procedure results in less pain, less risk of infection or other complications, and a much shorter recovery time resulting in a more more preferred method for the patient says Dr. Liu.