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Herniated Disc

Los Angeles Orthopaedic Center -  - Orthopedic Surgeon

Los Angeles Orthopaedic Center

Orthopedic Surgeons located in Downtown Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

A herniated disc can cause pain in the arms, legs, and other areas but is a problem originating in your back or neck. At Los Angeles Orthopaedic Center in Downtown Los Angeles, board-certified orthopaedic specialists Marc Samson, MD, Tae Shin, MD, and the team explore your symptoms to find the location of the herniated disc and determine an appropriate treatment plan. They can provide surgery for discs that cause weakness or pain and don’t find relief without surgery. To schedule an appointment, contact the office in Los Angeles, California, by phone or book online today.

Herniated Disc Q&A

What is a herniated disc?

A herniated disc is a complication that is often the result of degenerative disc disease. The discs in your spine provide cushioning between the bones, called vertebrae, which would otherwise rub together. Without discs, your spine would have no flexibility.

Each disc has an outer layer called an annulus, and an inside component called a nucleus. A herniated disc is when part of the nucleus protrudes into the space around the spine through a hole or tear in the annulus.

There are lots of nerve roots coming out of the spine, and a herniated disc can put pressure on one or more of them. That is why herniated discs often cause local or referred pain. 

What are the symptoms of a herniated disc?

Herniated discs often cause referred pain, meaning pain somewhere other than your spine or back/neck. The location of the pain depends on the specific nerve that the disc places pressure on and where it travels in your body. Many individuals experience symptoms in their arms (with a cervical herniated disc) or legs (with a lumbar herniated disc). 

A herniated disc can cause:

  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Muscle weakness
  • Burning
  • Aching
  • Sciatica (from lumbar herniated discs)

You might notice that your pain gets worse at night or when you make certain movements. The team at Los Angeles Orthopaedic Center asks for specific details about your symptoms as they work to find the location of the herniated disc. They may also order imaging to guide their diagnosis.

How is a herniated disc treated?

Most herniated disc treatments are conservative and non-surgical. The team at Los Angeles Orthopaedic Center prioritizes a non-surgical treatment approach for all musculoskeletal complications, including herniated discs. 

Sometimes, you can find lasting relief for a herniated disc by using over-the-counter pain relievers and limiting activities like heavy lifting. If your herniated disc needs professional care, the team at Los Angeles Orthopaedic Center can offer:

  • Physical therapy
  • Medications
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Electrical muscle stimulation

Surgery, if necessary, is also available for herniated discs that don’t respond to conservative care. Los Angeles Orthopaedic Center may recommend microdiscectomy, a surgery to remove a portion of the damaged disc, to relieve long-lasting symptoms, or restore muscle function. 

Other surgical techniques like spinal fusion or disc replacement are for more serious herniated disc cases.

A herniated disc can result in pain or numbness that’s hard to relieve on your own. For professional care from board-certified specialists, call Los Angeles Orthopaedic Center, or book an appointment online today.