Pain in your back or neck that radiates to your limbs may be a sign of a herniated disc. Vikas V. Varma, MD, is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and spine specialist who provides nonsurgical and surgical treatments for herniated discs at Manhattan Orthopedics, located in Midtown Manhattan near Central Park and Columbus Circle. If you think you have a herniated disc, call our office or schedule an appointment online today.
Your spine is made up of bones (vertebrae) stacked on top of one another. Between each vertebra is a round disc that absorbs shock and allows your spine to flex and bend.
A disc herniates when some of the soft, gel-like inner material pushes through a weak spot in the outer ring.
Also called a slipped or ruptured disc, herniated discs cause pain, numbness, and tingling if the herniated material presses on a nerve. Sciatica pain, which radiates down the buttocks and back of the leg, is a common symptom of a herniated disc in the lower back.
When a herniated disc occurs in your neck, your cervical spine, you’ll feel pain, numbness, and tingling in your shoulder and arm.
The most common cause of herniated discs is age-related degeneration that occurs naturally over time. When you’re young, discs are about 80% water. As you age, they begin to dry out and become more prone to tearing.
Herniated discs typically occur without an obvious cause. A disc may rupture when you lift heavy objects with improper form or twist your spine while lifting. In rare cases, a herniated disc results from trauma, such as a fall or car accident.
Dr. Varma carefully reviews your medical history and performs a physical exam. He may order diagnostic tests, such as an MRI, to confirm you have a herniated disc.
Dr. Varma discusses the best treatment options for your specific condition. Most patients find relief from nonsurgical treatments, such as:
If you continue to experience back or neck pain from a herniated disc despite conservative treatment, you may be a candidate for surgery. Dr. Varma is a minimally invasive spine surgery specialist who is highly skilled in the most advanced herniated disc treatments.
Depending on your needs, Dr. Varma may perform a microdiscectomy (also called microdecompression), which involves removing the material that irritates the nerve.
For cervical herniated discs, he performs disc replacement procedures whenever possible. Disc replacement is an alternative to spinal fusion that preserves mobility in the neck and spine.
To learn more about nonsurgical and surgical treatment options for a herniated disc, call Manhattan Orthopedics or book an appointment online today.