One of the most common conditions that we see in our clinic is disc herniation, and this is when the muscle in the middle pushes against the rest of your spine. It can even clip the nerve sac, causing back pain. It can also clip the nerve root, putting pressure against it. This generates what is called sciatic pain, a form of pain that comes from that nerve root.
Treating Disc Herniation
With a simple disc herniation, there are minimally invasive techniques that our doctors can employ to remove the disc and take care of your pain. It’s a simple outpatient procedure. However, when the problem is more severe and advanced, there can be a severe collapse of the disc spaces, leading to severe stenosis and requiring more extensive surgery. At times, our doctors have to take all that arthritis down, which can leave the spine wobbly. This would require us to put some hardware in the spine – specifically pedicle screw and rods.
The pedicle, where the screws are placed, is a stalk-like structure that connects the front and back of the vertebrae. The screw starts from there and goes into the main portion of the vertebrae’s body. This way it stabilizes your spine and holds it still. These screws are commonly used in conjunction with disc spacers, which replace the infected disc.
Dr. Kjeldgaard often compares it to a chain, where the links are worn out and about ready to break. The procedure essentially rolls two links together to reinforce the chain and keep it from breaking.
In cases where the herniation is severe to the point that the disc worn out or on the verge of collapse, it has to be taken out. We use disc spacers in that case to maintain the height of your spine.
Come to Trinity
Our doctors are happy to go over all of this with you at length so that you understand the anatomy, imaging, and the results of your physical examination. We’ll ensure that you understand every report and know exactly what’s wrong so that you can be active in planning your treatment. When you come to Trinity Orthopedics, that’s what we strive for each time you come in.