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Understanding the problem

Also known as a ruptured, herniated or slipped disc, a torn disc is a condition in which the outer layer of one of the intervertebral discs that cushion vertebrae in the spine develops a tear. In some cases, this rupture allows the jelly-like inner core of that disc to leak out.

Understanding who suffers

The causes of a torn disc are varied, but the most common include:

  • Sports injury – Even seemingly harmless motions such as running or swinging a golf club can wear on spinal discs, weakening them over time and making them more likely to tear. Rough sports like rugby and football can exacerbate this wear and tear.
  • Car accident – During a physically traumatic event such as an auto accident, the spine can be impacted to the point that spinal discs are stretched beyond capacity, and this pressure can be severe enough to make even a healthy disc rupture.
  • Age-related degeneration – As we get older, the spinal discs begin to lose water and become more brittle, making them more prone to cracking and splitting.
Potential Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms of a torn disc can vary from patient to patient. In fact, many cases can remain symptom-free for a long time. However, the following symptoms are most commonly associated with this spinal condition:

  • Dull, sharp, burning, or shooting pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle spasms

The location of these symptoms may also vary depending on the site of the affected disc. A torn disc in the cervical (upper) spine may cause discomfort in the neck, shoulders or arms. A disc tear in the thoracic (middle) spine may cause symptoms in the ribs, torso, mid back or inner arms. Patients with a torn disc in the lumbar region (lower back) — the most common location for this condition — may experience discomfort in the lower back, hips, buttocks, legs or feet.

Examinations Usually Required

Physicians typically begin by reviewing the symptoms and medical history of a patient.

A physical examination may also be performed to assess muscle strength and reflexes. If necessary, physicians may order one or more of the following diagnostic tests:

  • X-ray
  • MRI
  • CT scan
  • Discography
  • Blood tests
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:

The three spinal regions where torn discs can be found are:

  • Cervical Spine. The upper region of the spine includes vertebrae C1 to C7 that run from the base of the skull to the top of the rib cage. Symptoms of a torn disc in this area would manifest in the neck, upper back, shoulders, arms and hands.
  • Thoracic Spine. The thoracic section of the spine includes vertebrae T1 to T12. These vertebrae are fixed to the ribcage and provide more support than other sections of the spine, making a torn disc in this area less likely. Symptoms of a thoracic torn disc would present themselves in the mid-back, chest, ribs and arms.
  • Lumbar Spine. The lumbar region of the spine includes the L1 to L5 vertebrae. Many torn discs occur in this area of the spine because it bears so much weight while remaining flexible enough for movement. Symptoms of a lumbar torn disc would appear in the lower back, buttocks, legs and feet.
Further Information on Increased Risk Groups

The natural aging process of the spine is one of the most common causes of a torn disc and is, obviously, one of the risk factors that is unavoidable. Though aging is inevitable, the following torn disc risk factors can be avoided:

  • Smoking - Smoking reduces oxygen levels in the blood and deprives intervertebral discs of essential nutrients.
  • Obesity - Carrying extra weight places undue pressure on the spine and can promote degeneration.
  • Overexertion - Participating in high-impact sports such as hockey, football and gymnastics can lead to premature degeneration of the intervertebral discs.

These lifestyle changes will increase the health of the spine, thereby increase the chances of preventing or postponing the development of degenerative spine conditions, including a torn disc.

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.