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Treatment for Lumbar Slipped Disc

Patient jogging after treatment for lumbar slipped disc

 

Treatment for Lumbar Slipped Disc in New Jersey

When low back pain is persistent and continues to be a problem after a course of noninvasive treatments such as physical therapy, manual therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, steroid injections, and other integrative healing practices, it is time to consult with a spine specialist.

The founder and lead neurosurgeon at NU-Spine: The Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Institute is Branko Skovrlj, MD. Dedicated to relieving back pain and treating complicated spinal conditions, the medical team uses state-of-the-art technology and advanced surgical procedures. Make an appointment for an examination at one of the convenient office locations in Paramus, Woodbridge, Toms River, Jersey City, and Holmdel, NJ.

When Do I Need Lumbar Slipped Disc Surgery?

If you are not sure what is causing your persistent lower back pain or have been previously diagnosed with a slipped disc in the lower back, you may need surgery. At NU-Spine, we offer minimally invasive spine surgery that helps patients recover more quickly and experience fewer post-operative complications. Our goal is to relieve discomfort and pain, enabling patients to resume their usual activities and movements.

The lumbar spine is the lower back or lumbar sacrum area. From just below the ribs to the hips are vertebrae labeled L1 to L5. A slipped disc in the lower back can also be called a lumbar herniated disc. This is a common problem, and the resulting back pain routinely prevents people from being able to work at a variety of jobs or enjoy their favorite activities.

The lumbar spine plays an important role in movement, flexion, and twisting. It helps support the weight of the body and maintain stability. The disc is described as slipped or herniated when it has become dry or brittle as a result of aging, or if a traumatic injury applied pressure to the disc.

The vertebral discs contain a jelly-like nucleus and form a sort of padding or cushioning between the bones of the vertebrae. When these internal contents of a disc leak into the spinal column, it can cause a chemical irritation to nerve roots.

The flattening effect of pressure or leaking also may affect the structure of the spine, causing bones to rub or the compression of nerves and nerve roots. There are several reasons a slipped disc in the lower back can cause pain. There also are a variety of minimally invasive surgical procedures that can help reduce or eliminate that pain.

What Symptoms Signal a Need for Surgery?

Symptoms related to lumbar slipped disc include:

  • Numbness or weakness in lower extremities, or other neurological symptoms
  • Sleep disruption due to back pain, either in the thoracic or lumbar region
  • Chronic back pain
  • Difficulty standing or walking
  • Loss of balance
  • Diminished fine motor skills
  • Change in bowel or bladder control

However, the symptoms that signal a lumbar slipped disc also can indicate other spine conditions. When back pain is limiting your usual activities, it is important to consult with an experienced and skilled spine specialist. At NU-Spine, the medical team provides a thorough physical examination, reviews the patient’s medical history, and closely examines any test results. We also may order more tests or imaging to help determine an accurate diagnosis. We can determine whether a lumbar slipped disc is the cause of your back pain, or if your symptoms are related to one or more of the following disorders:

What Are Some Surgical Lumbar Slipped Disc Treatments?

The NU-Spine medical team, led by board-certified neurosurgeon Branko Skovrlj, MD, recommends minimally invasive spine surgery and other procedures as indicated by the specifics of each patient’s condition. When a lumbar slipped disc is causing back pain, the goal of any procedure is to ease the pressure on the nerve that is being pinched or compressed. Here are some of the surgical procedures NU-Spine may recommend for this spine condition:

  • Discectomy to remove damaged discs that press on a nerve. Following the discectomy, the disc may need to be replaced or the surrounding bones fused.
  • Microdiscectomy removes a section or part of a herniated disc that is causing pain.
  • Laminectomy removes the lamina, which is the part of the vertebrae that covers the spinal column. This creates more space for the spinal cord.
  • Minimally invasive laminectomy uses advanced medical technology to allow access to the lamina by separating tissues, rather than by an incision.
  • Spinal fusion may be done after a laminectomy, joining two bones together to stabilize the spine.

What to Expect After Surgical Lumbar Slip Disc Treatment

Several spine surgery options are performed as outpatient procedures. Patients go home to recover, and NU-Spine provides explicit instructions for care over the next few days and weeks. If a hospital visit is required, most patients are home within 24 hours. After surgery to provide relief from a slipped disc in the lower back, most patients experience fast pain relief.

After surgery, your mobility and activities should be approached slowly at first. NU-Spine asks that patients perform exercises only as recommended by the neurosurgeon. For several weeks of recovery, these movements should be avoided:

  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Working out with weights
  • Running and sports activities
  • Bending over
  • Driving
  • Sitting for long periods

After the initial recovery period, the medical team may recommend specific exercises or physical therapy to help patients regain strength and mobility. It is important to focus on rehabilitation and recovery after any procedure so the body can heal properly and avoid any future spine conditions.

When Is Surgery the Best Option to Treat a Slipped Disc?

If you have experienced back pain for six weeks or longer, and noninvasive treatments have not reduced the pain, a surgical procedure to address the lumbar slipped disc may be the best option. Additionally, if your back pain and other symptoms are making it difficult to perform the activities of daily living, work at your job, or participate in usual hobbies or sports, it is time to consult with the spine specialists at NU-Spine. We are dedicated to reducing or eliminating back pain, and we want to help our patients recover their mobility and favorite activities.

Back pain mustn’t be ignored. Unless it resolves in a few weeks, it likely will get worse. Ignoring back pain can lead to further complications, and these complications can require more complex surgical interventions and longer recovery periods. Not only can a lumbar slipped disc progress to lumbar radiculopathy, which means that the nerve has become pinched or compressed, but other possible results affect your overall health, including:

  • Depression
  • Weight gain
  • Spine damage that becomes long-term or permanent

There is a solution for back pain. If you have been diagnosed with lumbar slipped disc, or are experiencing chronic back pain, make an appointment with a spine specialist at NU-Spine: The Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Institute in New Jersey. For more information, contact us today. We have office locations in Paramus, Woodbridge, Toms River, Jersey City, and Holmdel, NJ.

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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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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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