Herniated
Disc

CONDITIONS

A multitude of people complaining of back pain, leg pain, or weakness in the lower body that are identified with a herniated disc. If you are among them, do not worry, because you’ve come to the right place. At Queens Crossing Neurosurgery, you can find the relief you need as Dr. Harrison Mu and his team of experts attend to your condition with utmost care. We have emerged as one of the best centers for neurosurgery and spinal treatments in New York City.

Ever since 2000, Dr. Harrison Mu has built a track record of helping a large number of New Yorkers who have seen their well-being going downhill due to a herniated disc and other spinal conditions.

What is an Intervertebral Disc?

It’s essential for patients to know the anatomy of the spine to understand “herniated disc” or “slipped disc” properly. The spinal column is composed of several bones stacked together. These bones or vertebrae are separated and cushioned by discs, which also act as shock-absorbers, protecting your spine and nerves against sudden jerks and jolts.

Each disc is made up of a soft gel-like center called the nucleus pulposus, and a strong outer fiber layer called the annulus fibrosus. It’s the outer ring of fibers that binds to the vertebrae and keeps the disc in place.

What is a Herniated Disc?

When a patient has a herniated disc, the outer fiber of the spine ruptures or tears and the center nucleus pulposus oozes out of its normal position and fills up the little space in the spinal canal. The disc, once displaced, may cause compression on the surrounding spinal nerves or put pressure on the spinal cord itself. At the same time, patients may also suffer nerve inflammation and immense pain when the nucleus pulposus releases certain chemical irritants.

How Common are Herniated Discs?

A herniated disc can happen in any area along the length of the spine, but they are more common in the lower back and neck region. In New York, a survey revealed that the most common cause of a herniated disc in middle-aged and older adults is disc degeneration. As a person ages, the spinal discs tend to dry out, losing their vitality and strength, causing them to rupture. Additional factors that increase the risk of a herniated disc include:

  • Accidental injuries causing excessive pressure on the spine.
  • Inappropriate repetitive twisting or lifting.
  • Tobacco use, lack of exercise, and obesity.

At Queens Crossing Neurosurgery, we provide our patients with an in-depth analysis of their condition before proceeding with any treatment. Dr. Harrison Mu explains the various causes behind a herniated disc before anything else, so that you prepare yourself better and get peace of mind through understanding your conditions.

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What Happens when you Have a Herniated Disc?

Are you finding it difficult to move because of pain in your lower back or neck? This could be caused by a herniated disc. Whenever a displaced disc presses on a nerve, on a nerve, or numbness can develop in the area supplied by that nerve. But to be sure, here are a few symptoms you should look for:

Herniated disc in the lower back

  • Minimal to severe pain in the lower back that increases with movement
  • Weakness in the leg
  • Loss of leg function
  • Muscle spasms
  • Sciatica, which is characterized by tingling, burning or numbing sensation that spreads from buttocks to legs or feet.

Cervical (neck) herniated disc

  • Mild to severe pain in the neck area or between your shoulder blades that may increase with movement
  • Pain that spreads to your arms, hands, or fingers—a condition known as radiculopathy
  • Tingling or numbing sensation in your arms and shoulders

Whenever you experience any of these symptoms, you should get in touch with us at Queens Crossing Neurosurgery. Dr. Harrison Mu and his team can evaluate the issue and together with you determine if neurological surgery is right for you.

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What Diagnosis and Treatment Options are Available?

At Queens Crossing Neurosurgery, Dr. Harrison Mu believes in adopting an individualized approach to treating a herniated disc. He will undertake a thorough evaluation of your condition and review imaging tests like CT/MRI scans and X-rays to get to the depth of the cause. Based on the results, he and his surgical team will formulate a treatment plan that suits you the best. A majority of herniated disc cases at our center are treated without any invasion. Meaning we don’t suggest a neurological surgery unless required. Non-surgical treatments for a herniated disc include the following:

  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain and swelling, muscle relaxants to reduce spasms.
  • Physiotherapy, which may include stretching, massage, and exercises.
  • Epidural corticosteroid injection(s), which relieves patients from pain that spreads.

It’s only when these treatments fail that Dr. Harrison Mu chooses to consider surgical options. Treatment for a herniated disc can be minimally-invasive with minimal hospital stay or even outpatient, and proven effective. We can surely help you reduce pain and recovery time through our treatment options.

Get in touch with Queens Crossing Neurosurgery and schedule a consultation with Dr. Harrison Mu today!