An annular tear is a small tear in the tough outer layer of the disc that develops when a disc in the spine becomes pinched due to natural wear. As a result of this condition, disc material may be leaked which irritates the nerves and causes a tremendous amount of pain in the spine. However, this condition is often not recognized if the torn disc doesn’t impact the nerve, causing it to become asymptomatic. To learn about the healing process of this condition as well as understand the treatments at your disposal, read the following article.
Annular tear resorption process
If you are suffering from this condition, it is possible for the annular tear to heal on its own through the body’s resorption process. Your body is able to detect when inner disc fluid pushes through an annular tear. Therefore, it is able to stop this material before it comes into contact with other bodily tissues. Through the use of white blood cells, your body’s immune system is able to break down this material to be reabsorbed by the body, thereby allowing the annular tear to heal. However, if you begin to develop chronic symptoms such as pain, numbness, tingling and weakness, then conservative therapy may be necessary to reduce the pressure on the disc while the resorption process occurs.
Annular tear conservative therapy
In order to help heal your annular tear during the resorption process, your doctor may recommend a conservative treatment regimen that consists of:
- Pain medication
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Chiropractic care
- Physical therapy
- Low-impact exercises
- Epidural steroid injections
Annular tear surgery
If your symptoms do not improve after several weeks or months of treatment, surgical intervention may then become necessary to heal your annular tear. In this event, contact USA Spine Care to learn about the advantages of minimally invasive spine surgery in providing you with lasting relief from your condition. Our procedures offer a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery as well as a shorter recovery period and a lower risk of complication.^
Depending on the severity of your condition, our board-certified surgeons+ are able to use a minimally invasive decompression or stabilization procedure to remove a portion of the damaged disc or all of the disc in order to relieve the pressure on the nerve. This is done by using a small incision that does not unnecessarily disrupt the muscles or ligaments surrounding the spine in order to get you back to the activities you have been missing out on.
As the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, USA Spine Care has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck or back pain, setting us apart as the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery. To find out if you are a potential candidate for our outpatient procedures, reach out to our dedicated team today and ask for a free MRI review.* We are here to help you recapture your quality of life from your annular tear condition.