When people rupture a disc in their spine, doctors generally prescribe physical therapy (PT) and medication to control the pain. But if PT and medication fail to work for you, you may seek more effective pain relief. If your pain becomes intolerable, surgery may be the next step for you. Learn more about ruptured disc pain and how surgery may help.
Why Do Some Rupture Discs Become Unmanageable?
The spine, or spinal column, contains 33 unique interlocking bones called vertebrae. Small, thin jelly-filled sacs called discs sit between each bone in the spinal column. If something crushes, breaks, or punctures the sacs, they can rupture and become small bubble-like hernias.
Ruptured discs can cause problems for the nerves (spinal cord) inside the spinal column. The spinal cord is one of the control systems in your body. The cord allows each organ, limb, and tissue in your body to communicate with your brain. When something happens to one of your discs, the communication process becomes disrupted. Pain, numbness, and other symptoms can occur as a result of the disruption, especially in the lower back area, neck, and legs.
In most cases, physical therapy and pain medication can help control the symptoms of a herniated disc. However, individuals with severely damaged discs may not respond well to traditional treatment methods. In this case, surgery may be the most effective way to treat the individuals' ruptured disc pain.
How Can Ruptured Disc Surgery Help You?
Ruptured disc surgery allows a neurosurgeon to do several things:
- remove the damaged disc from your spinal column
- repair nerve damage to your spinal cord
- replace lost or degenerated vertebral bone
Some neurosurgery specialists can also replace the discs they remove during surgery. However, in order to qualify for disc replacement, your spinal bones must not be severely damaged or compromised by disease. The natural curve of your spine should also be present. A surgeon can tell you more about disc replacement treatment and whether or not you qualify for it during your consultation.
After surgery, you may need to take a leave of work or a short vacation from school during the recovery stage. Depending on the surgical treatment you underwent, your spine may need time to fuse or regenerate properly. A doctor will discuss everything you need to know about your recovery before and after treatment.
For additional information about ruptured disc surgery, contact a neurosurgery doctor today.