Disc Herniation

Jonathan Gottlieb, MD -  - Orthopedic Spine Surgeon

Minimally Invasive Spine Center of South Florida

Jonathan Gottlieb, MD

Orthopedic Spine Surgeon located in Miami-Dade County, Miami, FL

A disc herniation occurs when one of the intervertebral discs in the spine is damaged, leading to pain, numbness, and other symptoms. Fortunately, effective treatments for this condition are available. Job Gottlieb, MD, offers a variety of treatment options to improve herniated discs and/or alleviate the symptoms. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Gottlieb, please contact his practice in South Miami, Florida, today.

Disc Herniation Q & A

What is a disc herniation?

Intervertebral discs are located between the vertebrae in your spine to act as shock absorbers as you move around. Each of these discs is composed of a tough outer layer and a soft center. In some cases, the tough outer layer becomes torn, allowing the soft center to protrude and put pressure on nearby structures.

What are the symptoms of a disc herniation?

In many cases, disc herniation won’t cause any symptoms. However, if the herniated disc is pressing on nearby nerves, you may have pain in your arms or legs, depending on the location of the disc. You may also experience numbness or weakness in the affected area.

What causes discs to herniate?

The most common cause of herniated discs is degenerative disc disease. This is the natural breakdown of intervertebral discs that occurs as you age. As the discs begin to break down, they become less flexible and more likely to tear.

In most cases, you won’t know exactly when a herniation occurred. However, some herniations develop during a trauma.

What treatments are available?

Many patients with herniated discs get better with only conservative treatments, which may include physical therapy to strengthen your back, medication to bring down inflammation, and lifestyle changes to prevent additional damage. However, if your herniated disc continues to bother you even after you’ve undergone conservative treatments, you may need more invasive treatment.

More invasive treatments for herniated discs include injections in your spine and surgery. If you need surgery, Dr. Gottlieb may recommend two different procedures: a spinal fusion or disc replacement surgery. During spinal fusion surgery, Dr. Gottlieb fuses two or more of your vertebrae together. During disc replacement surgery, he replaces the damaged disc with a prosthetic one.

Which treatment is best?

Each of the treatments available to patients with herniated discs is different. If your herniation is mild and doesn’t cause many symptoms, Dr. Gottlieb may recommend only conservative treatments. However, if the condition affects your life dramatically and doesn’t improve after you try conservative treatments, he may offer a surgical treatment.

Regardless of the situation, Dr. Gottlieb will explain all of your options in detail before scheduling or prescribing any treatment.

For further information on your condition, please refer to this link:  www.aaos.org