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Treatment for Lumbar Herniated Disc

Physician uses hands to examine patient’s lower back


Treatment for Lumbar Herniated Disc in New Jersey

People who experience a lumbar herniated disc may at first feel a slight ache in the back. But if back pain becomes more intense, it is always a good idea to make an appointment with a qualified spine specialist at NU-Spine: The Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Institute.

If examination determines that there is a herniated disc in the lower back, we recommend you begin treatment early, rather than waiting for the condition to worsen. If noninvasive methods do not provide relief from pain, our founder and lead spine surgeon, Branko Skovrlj, MD can recommend minimally invasive surgical procedures using state-of-the-art technology and advanced surgical techniques. We are based in New Jersey, with offices in Paramus, Woodbridge, Toms River, Jersey City, and Holmdel.

What Is a Lumbar Disc Herniation?

A herniated disc means the rubbery disc that provides cushioning between the vertebrae has ruptured, allowing some of its jelly-like nucleus to slip out. When this happens in the lower back, it is known as a lumbar herniated disc. This condition can also be called a lumbar slipped disc, prolapsed disc, or ruptured disc.

The spine helps us function, supporting our weight while we bend, flex, and move from place to place throughout the day. The row of vertebrae that make up the spine are cushioned by intervertebral discs. These act as shock absorbers between all those vertebral bones, as well as providing padding around nerve roots and other structures of the spine. When these cushions dry out, crack, or become flatter, it can cause back pain.

Discs are made with a soft interior called the nucleus pulposus, which is jelly-like and provides cushioning. The tougher outer ring of the disk keeps the nucleus pulposus confined and in place. Herniation occurs when this soft interior pushes through cracks or breaks in the outer shell of the disc. Normal wear and tear as we age is often responsible because the discs in the spine can become dehydrated over time. Traumatic injury to the intervertebral disc can also cause it to burst, crack, or become misaligned.

Here are some of the most common symptoms associated with lumbar herniated disc:

  • Low back pain, which may be described as burning
  • Sciatica, or pain that radiates to buttocks, thighs, and calves
  • Weakness in the muscles of the feet or legs
  • Tingling or numbness felt in the legs and feet
  • Worsening pain when standing, moving, sneezing, or coughing
  • Loss of control over bladder or bowel

Disc herniation can occur in the low back or lumbar sacrum area, as well as other parts of the spine, including:

At NU-Spine, our experienced medical team provides a variety of procedures and treatments for lumbar disc herniation. We examine each patient thoroughly, reviewing their medical history and test results for a clear, accurate diagnosis.

Imaging may also be required, such as an MRI or CT scan. Our goal is to reduce and eliminate back pain and help our patients return to their usual activities. If you are experiencing back pain from a herniated disc or other cause, come in for an initial consultation with a qualified, experienced neurosurgeon who specializes in spine conditions.

When Is Surgery Needed for a Lumbar Herniated Disc?

We start with conservative, noninvasive treatments for patients with mild symptoms related to lumbar herniated disc. Your primary care physician may also have recommended or prescribed any of the following:

  • Rest
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Steroid injection

If these noninvasive treatments have not provided a sufficient level of relief, the medical team at NU-Spine may recommend minimally invasive spine surgery. This is especially the case if patients are experiencing additional symptoms, which may include:

  • Increasing numbness in the lower extremities
  • Higher levels of pain and reduced quality of life
  • Difficulty when standing up or walking
  • Diminished fine motor skills
  • Loss of balance
  • Less control over the bladder or bowel

If the herniated disc continues to experience pressure, the nucleus may progress to become a bulging disc, which can place pressure on the spinal cord or area nerve roots. If the substance of the nucleus is released into the spinal cord, it can be irritating and contribute to inflammation of the nerves.

In other words, if the back pain is not addressed or accurately diagnosed, the spine condition can worsen. This is why we stress the importance of getting treatment for lumbar herniated discs as soon as possible. This can prevent long-term or permanent damage, such as a pinched nerve or lumbar radiculopathy.

What Are the Options for Lumbar Herniated Disc Surgery?

At NU-Spine, Dr. Skovrlj and the medical team use minimally invasive spine surgery. Performed using tiny incisions, this type of surgery helps reduce soft tissue damage and the risk of infection. There is less post-operative pain after minimally invasive surgery, as well. We use the latest techniques and equipment for these surgeries. Since our focus is only on the spine, patients benefit from our extensive knowledge and experience.

Here are some common surgical procedures used at NU-Spine to treat lumbar herniated discs:

  • Laminectomy may be selected when tissue is causing pressure on the nerve, removing the bone that covers the spinal cord
  • Microdiscectomy is a type of lumbar decompression surgery done to remove fragments of a ruptured disc that are pressing on a nerve
  • Spinal fusion connects two or more vertebrae and may be done to stabilize the spine after a laminectomy or other procedures
  • TLIF (transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion) is a type of spinal fusion that is done using a bone graft

Following minimally invasive spine surgery, patients often experience discomfort, but it should be minor. Our neurosurgeons also may recommend light activities after surgery. For example, slow walking can help you heal. Make sure you follow all post-operative instructions to aid and speed your recovery.

Will Symptoms Return After Surgical Treatment for a Herniated Lumbar Disc?

The goal of minimally invasive spinal surgery is to reduce or relieve back pain and restore movement and function to our patients. After receiving surgical treatment for lumbar herniated discs, patients experience less back pain very soon after the surgery. By closely following the instructions given by our neurosurgeons and spine specialists, full mobility can be restored within a few weeks, depending on the specifics of each condition.

Patients should avoid these activities for a few weeks after spinal surgery for a lumbar herniated disc:

  • Twisting
  • Bending over
  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Most sports and exercises
  • Driving a motor vehicle

Find Relief From Lower Back Pain at NU-Spine

The success rate is high for minimally invasive spine surgeries treating lumbar herniated discs. At NU-Spine: The Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Institute we focus on back pain, neck pain, and a wide variety of spine conditions. Our experienced neurosurgeons and spine specialists can examine, diagnose, and treat problems in the spine.

Don’t live with pain, consult with medical doctors who are dedicated to treating discomfort and pain resulting from problems in the spine. In New Jersey, we are conveniently located in Paramus, Woodbridge, Toms River, Jersey City, and Holmdel. Contact us today.

Start Your Path to Relief: Contact Us Today!
Spine Center Locations

1. Paramus
37 W Century Road Suite 105A
Paramus, NJ 07652

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3. Woodbridge
573 Amboy Ave.
Woodbridge Township,
NJ 07095

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5. Toms River
1901 Hooper Ave. #B
Toms River, NJ 08753

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7. Hainesport
300 Creek Crossing Blvd,
Suite 307 Hainesport, NJ 08036

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2. Jersey City
631 Grand Street, Suite 2-100
Jersey City, NJ 07304

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4. Holmdel/Bell Works
101 Crawfords Corner Rd.
Suite 1116-B
Holmdel, NJ 07733

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6. Freehold
1000 West Main Street
Suite 201
Freehold, NJ 07728

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