Lumbar Herniated Disc Overview  

At Spine Physicians Institute we have seen many patients throughout Dallas, Irving, Red Oak, Plano, Southlake, Grapevine, Colleyville, Duncanville and throughout the DFW metroplex with lumbar herniated discs. This condition also abbreviated as HNP, occurs when there is a tear in the outer, fibrous ring of the intervertebral disc known as the annulus fibrosis that allows the soft, central portion, the nucleus pulposus to either bulge or herniate out.

Symptoms

Symptoms of a lumbar herniated disc can vary depending on the location of the herniation and the structures that can become compressed as a result of the herniation.  They can range from little or no pain if the disc is the only tissue injured to severe unrelenting back pain that can radiate down to the buttocks and/or down the patient’s thigh, leg or foot.  Other symptoms can include sensory complaints, such as numbness, tingling, muscular weakness, paralysis, paresthesias, and abnormal reflexes

Diagnosis

Lumbar herniated disc is usually diagnosed by your physician after a thorough history and physical examination including a full neurological exam.  Diagnostic tests such as xray, MRI, CT with or without myelogram can be ordered as well.  With longstanding nerve compression, electrodiagnostic tests are sometimes ordered as well, such as EMG and nerve conduction studies.

Treatment

Many of the cases of lumbar herniated discs we see Dallas, Irving, Red Oak, Plano, Southlake, Grapevine, Colleyville, Duncanville and throughout the DFW metroplex do not require surgery.  Conservative care such as medical management, physical therapy, or epidural steroid injections can relieve the pain associated with the herniated disc.  Only if the pain fails to relent after 6-12 weeks after the inciting event would surgery be considered in the absence of severe nerve compression at the onset or bowel and bladder incontinence.

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