An annular tear is a spine condition that typically occurs in the lower back when the gel-like center of the disc leaks out and irritates the nerves. As a result, symptoms such as localized or radiating pain, weakness, numbness and tingling can arise, making it extremely difficult to go about your daily routine. If you have been diagnosed with this debilitating condition, then it is vital to seek an annular tear specialist who can help you develop a treatment plan to relieve your symptoms. To learn about the role an annular tear specialist plays in finding you lasting relief from your condition as well as the possible treatments that you may undergo, read the following article.
Role of an annular tear specialist
An annular tear specialist is a physician that can provide a more advanced diagnosis and intensive treatment plan for your condition as compared to a primary care doctor, allowing you to get back to the activities you have been missing out on. After a physical assessment, a diagnostic test is conducted, such as an MRI or CT scan, to identify the tear. Depending on the type, size and location of the annular tear, a specialist typically will first suggest a course of conservative treatments that may consist of:
- Low-impact exercises
- Pain medication
- Physical therapy
- Epidural steroid injections
- Spinal traction
- Chiropractic care
- Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS)
However, if you have yet to experience relief from your annular tear after several weeks or months of conservative therapy, or your condition worsens, then surgical intervention may become necessary.
Minimally invasive annular tear surgery
If an annular tear specialist recommends that you undergo spine surgery to treat your condition, contact USA Spine Care to learn about the advantages of minimally invasive spine surgery. At USA Spine Care, our procedures are a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery, offering a shorter recovery and a lower risk of complication.^ Since 2005, our procedures have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from their chronic neck or back conditions, setting us apart as the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery.
To treat an annular tear, the board-certified surgeons+ at USA Spine Care will use a small incision that spares and muscles and ligaments near the spine in order to remove a portion of the disc that is pressing on the spinal nerve or putting an artificial disc in place of the damaged disc. To find out if our procedures would be effective in relieving your annular tear symptoms, reach out to our dedicated team and ask for a no-cost MRI review.* We can evaluate your condition to see if you are a candidate for one of our outpatient procedures.