Slip Disc Surgery & Treatment

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Overview - Slip Disc Treatment

Slipped disc is one of the most common reasons for the visit to a spine surgeon. slipped disc has been traveling mankind for ages. However the problem has dramatically increased in last few decades. When we say the problem is increased then we specifically mean that it has increased in frequency as well as the number of people suffering from disease. that amounts to gross increase in the incidence of the number of slip disc cases. slip disc disease is a cammon term which is frequently used interchangeably with herniated disc, extruded disc, prolapsed intervertebral disc (PIVD), intervertebral disc prolapse (IVDP) etc.

Normal Anatomy & Definition

Before we try to understand the slip disc ok and its implications we need to get well versed with the spinal anatomy in order to understand the pathology better. our spine is made up of multiple bones called vertebrae which are stacked upon each other to form the whole spine. in between these spinal bones there is placed a shocker mechanism called Disc which acts in order to check the in order to avoid the jerky shocks to the spinal cord and the body. this shocker mechanism is called intervertebral disc. intervertebral disc is made up of jelly like material from inside and Outer rubber like covering. hence it is able to provide the shock absorber effect to the body.

if due to any reason the outer covering of the disc is broken the inner Jelly like material leaks and migrates at the back of the spine. this may lead to to compression of the spinal nerves which lie kissing the back of the spinal body and the disc. so a slipped disc can be defined as any movement of disc material towards the the back of the spine Which may lead to compression of the nerves leading to the symptoms in legs in the patient.

Symptoms of Slip Disc

Patients of a slipped disc generally present with very classical symptoms. However the symptoms depend upon the precise location of the disc which is slipped or involved.

Patients with slip disc in their cervical spine or neck (C1 to C7) generally present with symptoms in their upper Limbs, & patients with slip disc problems in the lower back or lumbar spine (L1 to L5) Present with symptoms in their legs .Based on the degree of slip disc, the types of symptoms and the severity of symptoms can vary in patient to patient ..

Following are the list of slipped disk symptoms which patients come to visit the spine surgeon.

  1. Neck pain
  2.  pain in in Shoulder & root of neck 
  3. Pain in between the shoulder blades 
  4. Pain Radiating in upper limbs either on one side or on both the sides
  5. Tingling numbness weakness or heaviness of upper Limbs aur the whole body
  6.  pain In the lower back
  7.  pain radiating to buttock area,  back of the thigh, calf area and up till legs
  8. Weakness in lower Limbs and maybe in advanced cases inability to walk due to pain
  9. Advanced cases patients may also have complaints of bladder and we’ll involve that is to lose control over bladder and bowel. 
Slip Disc treatment by Dr Devashishs Sharma

Causes of Slip Disc

So the most important question which is asked to a spine surgeon in OPD is the doctor why do I have back pain or what is the reason for my slipped disc? Did I do anything wrong? Well the answer is yes and no at both the same time.

The causes of slip discs are still poorly understood however there are few things which can be said.

  • Degenerative disc disease : The most common reason for slip disc is degenerative disc disease or DDD. 3805 This disease simply means that is a gradual degeneration in the quality of material of the disc substance. loses it and its elasticity. When that happens, it becomes prone to breaking off and has the chance of slip disc increase. However this aging is not always related to the number of years the patient has lived. It also relates to the lifestyle of the patient and a young patient with a very bad lifestyle may have spinal discs which are older than his actual age.
  • Acute trauma to the disc: any movement which involves extreme bending of the spine or extreme extension of the spine especially if that movement is performed as an extemporary act.The disk and ligament supporting the disk is not accustomed to that kind of bending and may break down leading to a slipped disc problem. any lifting of very heavy weight which body is not regularly doing  is also a reason for slip disc problems. This movement can be intentional or may arise out of few accidents like fall or an injury.

Risk Factors in Slip Disc Surgery

Having discussed the various causes for low back pain and slip disc now we have come to the point where we can discuss a few predispositions which lead to slip disc problems. 

  1. Heavy Weight : Patients were overweight it will load their spine with much more weight than what the spine is made up of. This will lead to accelerated ageing or wear  out of spinal discs which may lead to frequent breaks and slip disc problems.
  2. Smoking : Some of the studies suggest that smoking reduces the amount of water content in the spinal discs and making them more vulnerable for protrusion and herniations.
  3. Family history of herniation : There is a little evidence which suggest that slip disc also runs in families.
  4. Lack of exercise : lack of exercise leads to to decrease in mobility of spine and increase in vulnerability of spine to break down on accidental movement object. 
  5. Sedentary Lifestyle : Sedentary lifestyle and jobs which involves sitting for long hours are also prone to cause stripped the issues .

Home Remedies in Slip Disc

If the symptoms are very mild slipped disc treatment at home can be tried which include :

  1. Rest : Rest is known to heal the disc problems faster
  2.  Avoid Sitting :  avoid sitting for long hours in the chair especially if the chair is not supported from the back. long hours of sitting in the chair are known to aggravate that slipped disc problem
  3.  physiotherapy and slip disc treatment exercises under the guidance of a physical therapist
  4.  massages can be tried 
  5. Hot pack fomentation and cold fomentation can also relieve the pain associated with slipped disc.
  6.  avoid certain posters like bending forward lifting heavy weight and sitting 
  7. ayurvedic treatment for slip disc and other alternative therapy including slip disc treatment in homeopathy etc

When To Consult a Spine Surgeon ?

If your symptoms do not get better in weeks or If you think that your symptoms are progressing and are becoming severe in nature you should immediately consult a spine surgeon with all your complaints.

Treatment Options For Slip Disc

Considering the options, slipped disc treatment can be treated in various ways however the main in the primary treatment of herniated disc always remains rest physiotherapy medications and Lifestyle change.

  1. Conservative therapy : If you have had a slipped disc for the first time there is a high chance that you will recover with the problem soon with the help of measures like rest Lifestyle modification , slip disc exercise, avoiding certain posters, some drugs given by your spine doctor and if required some physical therapy. slip disk exercise should always be done under the guidance of your physical therapist.
  2. Spinal Injections (SNRB Epidural ) : Sometimes if the pain is too much the conservative line of Management it is also augmented with use of selective nerve root block injections which reduces the inflammation at the site of disc prolapse at an accelerated pace in order to give the pain relief to the patient.
  3. Endoscopy  : However if all the above mentioned slipped disk treatment methods fail and patient still has lot of complaints patient can be offered spinal endoscopy which is latest treatment in the line of treatment for slip discs. in this way slipped disc treatment without surgery is possible & there is no requirement of anaesthesia and patient can be discharged the same day after addressing his many ways for certain cases spine endoscopy is considered as best treatment for slip disc problems.
  4. Surgery  :  in some specific cases if endoscopy cannot be performed or if the surgeon is not well versed with Spine endoscopy, the option of slip disc surgery is given to the patient in which the disc is removed and after surgery the patient can be discharged after a few days. however it must be noted that if surgery required full anesthesia and has to be given & more amount of blood loss and post-operative pain is experienced as compared to Spinal Endoscopy (PELD) which is pain free and stitch less procedure & is considered best treatment for slip disc in India. 

Conclusion of Slip Disc

 The incidence of herniated discs and slip disk problems have increased multifold in the last few decades. however the technology has kept pace with the problem and the treatment has also evolved. With the availability of high-end Technology like in the endoscopes the traditional open spine surgery is no longer required in most of the cases and the problem can be addressed by Stitchless and painless point procedures without the requirement of long stay in the hospital. 

Now nobody needs to suffer slip disk pain as modern medicine offers quick, safe and minimally invasive back pain slipped disc treatment.

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