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Six common symptoms of disc extrusion and options for relief

A disc extrusion, also called a herniated disc, is a spine condition that affects the spinal discs that cushion the vertebrae, allowing the spine to bend and flex smoothly. The discs are made up of two parts: a tough outer layer and a softer inner core. As part of the natural aging process, the outer layer can become weak and brittle over time, leading to cracks and tears. When this happens, inner disc material can be pushed out into the spinal column, resulting in disc extrusion.

Symptoms of disc extrusion

When a disc tear occurs, the disc itself can hurt if the nucleus material irritates nerves in the disc’s outer wall. If extruded disc material puts pressure on a nerve in the spinal column, it can cause a number of more serious symptoms. Here are six symptoms that are commonly associated with the nerve root compression caused by a disc extrusion. These symptoms are:

  1. Pain at the site of the compressed nerve
  2. Pain that radiates along the path of the compressed nerve
  3. Loss of reflexes
  4. Numbness or tingling
  5. Muscle weakness
  6. Cramping or muscle spasms

The area of the body that these symptoms affect greatly depends on where in the spine the extrusion occurs. Disc extrusions can affect the lumbar (lower) region of the spine, causing symptoms in the hips, legs and feet. A disc extrusion in the cervical (upper) region will cause symptoms to appear in the head, neck, shoulders, arms and hands.

Minimally invasive treatment for disc extrusion

Patients are often able to find relief from their disc extrusion pain through a course of conservative treatment, which may include physical therapy, pain medication, injections and hot and cold compresses. However surgery may be recommended for patients who have attempted several months of conservative treatment without finding the relief needed for a good quality of life. As you explore your surgical options, reach out to USA Spine Care to learn about the benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery. Our highly skilled surgeons use muscle-sparing techniques that allow for an outpatient procedure and offer our patients a shorter recovery time and less risk of complication compared to traditional open spine surgery.^

Our team can provide a review of your MRI at no cost to you* to see if you are be a potential candidate for one of our procedures.

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