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Lumbar & Cervical Disc Herniation

ortho spine Myelopathy

Disc herniation occurs when the cushions around the discs of the spine are damaged, causing a bulge or rupture. Herniated discs happen most frequently in the neck and lower back.

At WakeMed, our goal is to help patients with lumbar and cervical disc herniation get back to an active, pain-free lifestyle as quickly as possible.

Symptoms of Disc Herniation

Depending on the location of the herniated disc, symptoms can include numbness and pain and weakness.

These can occur anywhere along the neck, shoulder, chest, arms and hands.

Causes of Disc Herniation

Normal aging can lead to disc herniation. Fluid in the discs can leak, reducing flexibility, and various injuries can also lead to tiny rips in the outside of the disc.

The gel-like substance inside the disc is forced out through these tears, causing the disc to bulge, burst or break.

Diagnosing Disc Herniation

Our orthopedists take a detailed history of symptoms and conduct a thorough physical examination to check for signs of disc herniation.

We may order an X-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scan to get further information about the condition of the discs and the space around them.

Treating Disc Herniation

We start by suggesting conservative treatments, including rest, decreased activity levels and using anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen.

Physical therapy and traction — a gentle, steady pulling on the head to stretch the neck and spread the bones — can also be effective.

In some cases, we may prescribe oral steroids or epidural steroid injections. For patients dealing with persistent symptoms, we may recommend surgery. Learn more about surgical techniques we can use to treat disc herniation.

Make an Appointment

We welcome new patients. If you’d like to meet with one of WakeMed’s orthopedists about lumbar and cervical disc herniation, please make an appointment by calling us at 919-232-5020.