Back Pain & Spine Surgery
A herniated disc occurs when the soft inner portion of a spinal disc begins
to push against the outer ring of the disc. In some cases, this inner
portion can herniate through the outer ring, inflame spinal nerves, and
place pressure on surrounding nerves that results in pain, numbness, and
weakness. A herniated disc most commonly affects the lower back (lumbar).
Sometimes referred to as a slipped disc or ruptured disc, a herniated disc
can be caused by sudden injury, but it is most often caused by the natural
aging and deterioration of the spine (degenerative disc disease). People with a herniated disc will experience lower back pain which may
progress into pain or numbness that extends from the lower back through
your hips and buttocks and down each leg (sciatica).
Diagnosing and Treating a Herniated Disc
Because we take a comprehensive approach to patient care, our spine doctors
focus on detailed evaluations that examine a patient’s unique medical
history and symptoms. Following initial examinations, we then use advanced
imaging tools to confirm a diagnosis and determine the severity of disc
While many patients can find relief and improved mobility with conservative
(non-surgical) treatment, others may continue to experience severe pain
and neurological deficits that create limitations on their ability to
handle daily activities, such as walking. When this is the case, surgery
may become an option.
Our Orange County spine surgeons work closely with patients to help them
understand available surgical procedures, which may include traditional
open surgery or
minimally invasive spine surgery that is performed on an outpatient basis.
Surgical Treatment for Herniated Discs:
Discectomy is a common procedure used to surgically treat a herniated disc, and it
involves the removal of a herniated disc and / or bone fragments that
place pressure on spinal nerves.
Laminotomy is a procedure that helps relieve pressure on nerve roots in the spine
by making an opening in the vertebral arch (lamina). It can be performed
using minimally invasive techniques, and may also involve the removal
of the lamina (laminectomy).
- Spinal fusion may be used in more severe cases of disc herniation and will
involve the permanent fusing of two or more vertebrae.
Find a Spine Doctor with the Center for Spine at Hoag Orthopedic Institute
A herniated disc is a common cause of
lower back pain and decreased mobility, but it can be effectively treated with the help
of our experienced spine surgeons at the Center for Spine at Hoag Orthopedic
Institute. Not only do our patients receive evidence-based treatment from
board-certified, fellowship trained orthopedic surgeons who have the requisite
qualifications and tools to perform advanced surgery, they also work closely
with our entire orthopedic healthcare team including our nurse navigators
who educate patients about pre- and post-surgery issues that can facilitate
a faster recovery and positive outcome.
Learn more about your treatment options. View our physician directory to find a
Find a Spine Doctor