Understanding the problem
A ruptured disc, also known as a herniated or torn disc, occurs when a disc in the spine is squeezed by surrounding vertebrae to the point that it breaks open and spills inner disc nucleus into the spinal canal.
Understanding who suffers
A ruptured disc is a relatively common condition in adults over the age of 50 and can develop for a number of reasons. One of the main causes a ruptured disc develops is age and the naturally occurring degeneration of the spine. This means that as time goes on, our spines weaken due to age and lifestyle choices, leaving the discs in the spines susceptible to degenerative disc disease. Degenerative disc disease describes any damage to the discs in the spine due to age and constant pressure from the surrounding vertebrae. A ruptured disc, in particular, is a disc that has compressed to the point of breaking from the constant pressure and strain of repetitive motions and weight gain.
Potential Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms of a ruptured disc occur when one or more of the spine’s discs becomes damaged and pushes into the spinal canal. If ruptured disc material puts pressure on nerve roots or the spinal cord, then symptoms like radiating pain, numbness, weakness and tingling will likely result.
When spinal discs are healthy, they are filled with a gel-like substance called nucleus pulposus. The discs act as shock absorbers and allow us to move the neck and back freely. As we age, these discs wear out, and the inner core can extrude through the disc’s tough outer layer, or annulus fibrosus. Age-related deterioration of the spine can lead to a condition called degenerative disc disease, and this is one of the most common causes of a ruptured disc.
Ruptured disc symptoms vary widely, depending on the position of the ruptured disc and the size of its herniation. Typically, a ruptured disc is preceded by neck or lower back pain. For a cervical ruptured disc (located in the neck area), symptoms can travel to the shoulders, arms and hands. In the case of a lumbar ruptured disc (in the lower back), symptoms can radiate to the buttocks, hips, legs and feet.
Symptoms of a ruptured disc can include:
- Muscle spasms
- Muscle weakness
- Shoulder, arm, or chest pain
- Tingling or numbness
- Pain in your lower back, hips, buttocks, legs, and feet
- Severe deep muscle pain
- Loss of bladder or bowel control, which indicates a medical emergency requiring immediate medical attention
Examinations Usually Required
After a medical history review, physical exam and discussion of the symptoms, a ruptured disc diagnosis may also require diagnostic and imaging tests, such as:
- Blood tests
- CT scans
- A myelogram
- An electromyogram
- Nerve root block tests
Some of these tests — like X-rays and blood tests — are not meant to reach a positive diagnosis of a ruptured disc, but can rule out other conditions like an infection, fracture or tumor. One reason diagnosing a ruptured disc can be difficult is because symptoms of numbness, weakness and tingling in the arm, lower back, thigh or leg can resemble other conditions, including sciatica or spinal stenosis.
Proposing Treatment and Why AIMIS
In the case of a full annular tear and a ruptured disc surgery may be needed to eliminate or reduce their symptoms. The common options for such a surgical repair include a discectomy (removal of disc material), a micro discectomy and a secondary spinal fusion to compensate for the removed spinal disc. Treatment options depend on the location and severity of the injury.
AIMIS provides various surgical options depending on an individual’s problem and include:
- Minimally Invasive Decompression Surgery,
- Minimally Invasive Stabilization Surgery,
- 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 minimally invasive spine surgery. 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’s 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.
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:
There are three generally accepted types of ruptured discs which are differentiated by what part of the spine has been affected, and consequently by where symptoms are most likely to occur. These three different types are termed cervical, thoracic and lumbar, which refer to intervertebral disc ruptures occurring in the parts of the spine corresponding to the neck, thorax and lower back, respectively. Ruptured discs in the cervical and lumbar spine are the most common and the most readily treatable.
Further Information on Increased Risk Groups
A ruptured disc, also known as a herniated disc, has several risk factors that can be controlled, including lifestyle choices, trauma and injury. The most common cause of this condition, however, is outside of our control; it is the aging process.
Accidents, sudden injuries or genetic disorders are risk factors for a ruptured disc that cannot be foreseen or prevented. However, if a disc herniates or bulges due to gradual deterioration, there are a variety of things one can do to stop or slow the process.
For example, since damaged discs often have to do with a weakened disc wall, restoring some elasticity to the outer disc layer is crucial. In order for the disc to heal, following daily choices will improve spine health:
- Drink plenty of water
- Stretch frequently
- Stop smoking
- Eat foods high in healthy oils and omega fatty acids, like salmon, avocado and nuts
- Lose weight to relieve unnecessary pressure on the spine
- Exercise to lose weight and strengthen the core muscles which support the spine
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 postsurgical 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.