Disk Herniation

//Disk Herniation

What is?

Disk Herniation is a spinal condition in which a tear in the fibrous ring allows the central portion of the disc to bulge out and occasionally damaging neural elements. The herniation could be central, posterolateral or lateral.

Normal
Disc herniation

When central, at cervical or thoracic spine, it is possible to damage the spinal cord (myelopathy) or the nerve root if the herniation is lateral (radiculopathy).

Herniated Disc - MRI
Herniated disc

The symptoms and signs vary:

Myelopathy:

  • Upper and/or lower extremities symptoms and signs.
  • Abnormal reflexes
  • Balance and walking disorders
  • Urinary disorders
  • Sensory deficits
Myelopathy
Herniated disc & Spinal cord

Radiculopathy:

  • Symptoms may start with back or neck pain which gradually yields to symptoms from upper/lower extremities.
  • Symptoms occasionally occur after:

– sudden moves (bending, rotation)

– coughing, sneezing

– upon awakening in the morning (cervical herniation)

– trauma

  • The symptoms radiate to a specific part or the upper or lower extremity

The treatment for the disc herniation is conservative (bed rest, restriction of activities, medication, physiotherapy) in most cases, or surgical, and depends on the size of the herniation, its location, and if there is already impairment of the neural tissue functionality..