Herniated Disc Diagnosis and Treatments
Herniated Disc Diagnosis
Your doctor at the Spine Institute of North American will work with you to reach an accurate diagnosis, using the following comprehensive methods:
- Taking your medical history, including your current symptoms and previous treatments.
- Doing a physical examination to look for signs of spinal cord damage as well as other symptoms like loss of function or poor balance.
- Diagnostic testing, including x-rays and other techniques that provide the doctor with a clear and accurate view of your spine.
Herniated Disc Treatment Options
Most herniated discs will not require surgery. Most symptoms will go away on their own within four to six months. Because of this, the best herniated disc treatment is often conservative care that helps the patient cope with the initial symptoms.
- Pain medication including anti-inflammatories and in rare cases, narcotic painkillers.
- Using hot and cold compresses on the affected area.
- Physical therapy exercises.
- Steroid injections to reduce inflammation in the back.
Least Invasive Procedures For A Herniated Disc
If the symptoms of your herniated disc don’t go away and you are still in pain, then it might be time to consider surgical treatment options. The Spine Institute of North America uses a less invasive procedure to treat herniated discs with a 90% success rate.
- Endoscopic Discectomy (transforaminal or interlaminer): Our surgeon will use a small, 1/4 inch incision to access the herniated disc in your back with an endoscope and a high definition camera. This means there is less damage to the muscles in your back and fewer issues with recovery; many patients can return to work in just a week. There is no general anesthesia used, either, eliminating the risks involved. You’ll be awake and comfortable throughout the procedure.
Many of our patients are out of bed just an hour after surgery and they are released to go home soon afterward. You’ll be able to gradually increase your activity level and go back to work in a couple days, with your doctor’s permission. You’ll need to continue to rest and take it easy for a little while, and you may need to take some pain medication for the first few days after surgery. Your doctor will give you instructions for at-home care, including exercises you can do to maintain your flexibility in your back. They’ll also let you know when you can resume activities like driving, lifting, and yard work.