Lumbar Herniated Disc Treatment in and around Atlanta
As a disc degenerates, the soft inner gel in the disc can leak back into the spinal canal much like jelly squeezing out of a donut. This is known as disc herniation, or herniated disc. Once inside the spinal canal, the herniated disc material then puts pressure on the nerve, causing pain to radiate down the nerve leading to sciatica or leg.
As a disc degenerates, it can herniate (the inner core leaks out), which is known as a disc herniation or a herniated disc. The weak spot in the outer core of the disc is directly under the spinal nerve root, so a herniation in this area puts direct pressure on the nerve, which in turn can cause sciatica. Pain that radiates down the leg and is caused by a herniated disc is called a radiculopathy. This pain can often intensify with coughing, sneezing or lifting.
Lumbar Herniated Disc Treatment Options
In most cases, if a patient’s low back and/or leg pain is going to get better after a lumbar herniated disc it will start to do so within about six weeks. While waiting to see if the disc will heal on its own, several non-surgical treatment options can help reduce the back pain, leg pain and discomfort caused by the herniated disc.
Several of the most common nonsurgical treatments include:
- Physical therapy
- Osteopathic/chiropractic manipulations
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Oral steroids (e.g. prednisone or methyprednisolone)
- An epidural (cortisone) injection
A microdiscectomy is designed to take the pressure off the nerve root by removing the portion of the disc that is pressing on it, and to provide the nerve with a better healing environment. Using microsurgical techniques and a small incision, a microdiscectomy can usually be done on an outpatient basis, and most patients can return to work full duty in one to three weeks. Some patients may also be candidates for a percutaneous discectomy which is done through a poke hole in the skin under local anesthesia with IV sedation and once again, patients can go home the same day. To see how Dr. Bendiks can help you, please Contact Us to schedule an appointment today.