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Understanding the problem

A herniated disc refers to a problem with one of rubbery like cushioning discs between the individual spine vertebrae that stack up to make your spine A spinal disc can be described as a jelly donut, with a softer center encased within a tougher exterior, sometimes refer to as a slipped disc or a ruptured disc, a herniated disc occurs when some of the softer "jelly" pushes out through a crack in the tougher exterior.

A herniated disc can put pressure to irritate nearby nerves and result in pain, numbness or weakness in an arm or leg. However in some cases, people experience no symptoms from a herniated disc. Dependent on the symptoms and severity, people who have a herniated disc don’t always need surgery to correct the problem.

Understanding who suffers

Disc herniation is most often the result of a gradual, aging-related wear and tear called disc degeneration. As one ages, spinal discs lose some of their water content. That makes them less flexible and more prone to tearing or rupturing with even a minor strain or twist.

Most people can’t pinpoint the exact cause of their herniated disc. Sometimes, using your back muscles instead of your leg and thigh muscles to lift large, heavy objects could result in a herniated disc, as can twisting and turning while lifting. Rarely, a traumatic event such as a fall or a blow to the back can cause a herniated disc

Potential Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms of a herniated disk vary depending on the location and the severity of the rupture.

  • Some herniated discs cause no symptoms, and a person with this type of injury may not realize the disc is damaged.
  • Herniated disc can also cause severe pain, numbness or tingling, and weakness. Most herniated discs occur in the lower back, where they can cause symptoms in the buttocks, legs and feet. Herniated discs also occur in the neck, where they can cause symptoms in the shoulders, arms and hands.
Examinations Usually Required

Physical Examination

During a physical examination, your doctor will usually check your:

  • Reflexes
  • Muscle strength
  • Walking ability
  • Ability to feel light touches, pinpricks or vibration

Examinations

Examinations that are normally requested for additional clarification of a problem

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Proposing Treatment and Why AIMIS

Treatment options for herniated disc depend on the location and severity of the injury.
Initially, a herniated disc may be treated with pain-relieving medications, muscle relaxers and corticosteroid injections and potentially physical therapy

If symptoms worsen or these methods are not effective, the disc may need to be treated with a surgical procedure.

AIMIS provides various surgical options depending on an individuals problem and include:

  • Minimally Invasive Decompression Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Stabilization Surgery
  • Laminotomy
  • Foraminotomy
  • Discectomy
  • Micro-Discectomy
  • Micro-Decompression
  • Artificial Disc Replacement Surgery
  • Total Disk Replacement (TDR)
  • Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion
  • Decompressor Discectomy
  • Lumbar Disc Microsurgery Treatment

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Reputable and Prestigious Surgeons

AIMIS’ skilled team of neurosurgeons, orthopaedic surgeons and ancillary professionals has one of the leading experiences in the world for treating herniated disc. Our full team are consulted with each case to find the most suitable experienced doctor for the patient’s exact issue, to ensure the maximum potential outcome of treatment.

Getting More Information Before Moving Forward
You may have questions like:
  • Can I get more information before I commit to this?
  • Can I get a second opinion from you before I commit to this?
  • How can I find out the cost before I have any obligation?
What AIMIS Can do:

AIMIS will provide a full review, diagnosis and potential surgical options for your condition, after receiving the relevant examinations and information from you. They will also provide an estimate for your surgical procedure before you decide.

AIMIS’ mission is to the provision of “true” healthcare for those who require it. It provides world leading surgeons using state of the art procedures to optimize potential surgical outcomes, whilst taking care of all arrangements so as to allow concentration on recovery.

Affordability

AIMIS provide competitive prices for state of the art procedures. We also work with a large range of Insurance companies where your policy allows you to have surgery abroad.

Further information on the problem:

A herniated disc is a common injury that can affect any part of the spine. A herniated disc can cause severe pain and other problems in the arms or legs.

Disc Anatomy
Vertebral discs are flexible, rubbery cushions that support the vertebral bones. They allow the spine to twist and bend. Each disc has a soft inner nucleus that is surrounded by a fibrous outer wall.

Herniated Disc
A herniated disc occurs when the nucleus pushes through the outer wall. This herniation can result in a large bulge that can press against nearby nerve roots.

Causes
Herniated discs commonly result from age-related weakening of the spinal discs. This is called disc degeneration, and it can occur gradually over many years as a result of normal wear and tear on the spine. A herniated disc can also result from a traumatic injury, or from lifting a heavy object improperly.

Symptoms
Symptoms of a herniated disc vary greatly depending on the position of the herniated disc and the size of the herniation.

  • If the herniated disc is not pressing on a nerve, you may have an ache in the low back or no symptoms at all.
  • If the herniated disc is pressing on a nerve, you may have pain, numbness, or weakness in the area of your body to which the nerve travels.
  • With herniation in the lower (lumbar) back, sciatica may develop. Sciatica is pain that travels through the buttocks and down a leg to the ankle or foot because of pressure on the sciatic nerve. Low back pain may accompany the leg pain.
  • With herniation in the upper part of the lumbar spine, near the ends of the lowest ribs, you may have pain in the front of the thigh.
  • With herniation in the neck (cervical spine), you may have pain or numbness in the shoulders, arms, or chest.

Leg pain caused by a herniated disc:

  • Usually occurs in only one leg.
  • May start suddenly or gradually.
  • May be constant or may come and go (intermittent).
  • May get worse (“”shooting pain””) when sneezing, coughing, or straining to pass stools.
  • May be aggravated by sitting, prolonged standing, and bending or twisting movements.
  • May be relieved by walking, lying down, and other positions that relax the spine and decrease pressure on the damaged disc.

Nerve-related symptoms caused by a herniated disc include:

  • Tingling (“”pins-and-needles”” sensation) or numbness in one leg that can begin in the buttock or behind the knee and extend to the thigh, ankle, or foot.
  • Weakness in certain muscles in one or both legs.
  • Pain in the front of the thigh.
  • Weakness in both legs and the loss of bladder and/or bowel control, which are symptoms of a specific and severe type of nerve root compression called cauda equina syndrome. This is a rare but serious problem, and should seek immediate medical attention.
  • Other symptoms of a herniated disc include severe deep muscle pain and muscle spasms.
Further Information on Increased Risk Groups

Factors that increase your risk of a herniated disk may include:

  • Weight. Excess body weight causes extra stress on the disks in your lower back.
  • Occupation. People with physically demanding jobs have a greater risk of back problems. Repetitive lifting, pulling, pushing, bending sideways and twisting also may increase your risk of a herniated disk.
  • Genetics. Some people inherit a predisposition to developing a herniated disk.
Further examination that maybe required or requested

Physical Exam

In most cases of herniated disk, a physical exam and a medical history are all that’s needed to make a diagnosis. A doctor would likely

  • check the back for tenderness
  • Ask patent to lie flat and move your legs into various positions to help determine cause of pain.

Also a neurological exam, nay be performed and check:

  • Reflexes
  • Muscle strength
  • Walking ability
  • Ability to feel light touches pinpricks or vibration

If your doctor suspects another condition or needs to see which nerves are affected, he or she may order one or more of the following tests.

  • X-rays. Plain X-rays don’t detect herniated disks, but they may be performed to rule out other causes of back pain, such as an infection, tumor, spinal alignment issues or a broken bone.
  • Computerized tomography (CT scan). A CT scanner takes a series of X-rays from many different directions and then combines them to create cross-sectional images of your spinal column and the structures around it.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Radio waves and a strong magnetic field are used to create images of your body’s internal structures. This test can be used to confirm the location of the herniated disk and to see which nerves are affected.
  • Myelogram. A dye is injected into the spinal fluid, and then X-rays are taken. This test can show pressure on your spinal cord or nerves due to multiple herniated disks or other conditions.
  • Nerve tests – Electromyograms and nerve conduction studies measure how well electrical impulses are moving along nerve tissue. This can help pinpoint the location of the nerve damage.
Why AIMIS for this Surgery

AIMIS strives for excellence in delivering the best surgical outcomes, via the extensive expertise of its prestige surgeons, its technologies, its highly trained staff and superior facilities to provide an individualized and compassionate experience in a comfortable environment. All patients are treated with the individual care they deserve in an effort to provide the best chance of successful treatment.

Other Services Provided by AIMIS

In addition to its Innovative Healthcare, AIMIS provides seamless service along the way. From the start of your journey you’ll know the best flights to take, where you’ll be staying, what paperwork you will need. You will have a personal assistant assigned; from your pick up at the airport, to your accommodation, continuous assistance at your pre-consultation, through surgery and in your post-surgical care. Our Patients have said that they feel they have become “part of our family” and some even asked to stay a little longer! AIMIS is here to assist you in an all you requirements, allowing you to focus on your health and recovery.

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