Individuals with herniated discs can experience debilitating and agonizing back pains. This injury affects approximately 1.5 million Americans every year. While the pain caused by a herniated disc can be life-consuming, there are ways to treat it and find relief. Let’s take a look at what a herniated disc is and how a percutaneous disc nucleoplasty can help you find relief from it.
The human spine is made up of vertebrae (bones) and rubbery discs that sit between them. A herniated disc happens when one of the rubbery discs gets out of place. It is also called a slipped or ruptured disc. This type of injury occurs when a spinal disc pushes out through a hole of the more robust exterior of the spine. Herniated discs are common in the lumbar spine or lower back, but it can also affect the cervical spine or neck. If not treated, a herniated disc can cause pain, weakness, or numbness in the arms or legs. It can also result in painful back problems that prevent patients from daily tasks and chores.
There are several causes or risk factors that may lead to disc herniation. One of which is being overweight. Heavy or excessive body weight puts additional stress on the spine and the discs located in your lower back. Another risk factor is genetics. A person with a family history of herniated discs has a higher risk of developing one. Lastly, a herniated disc can also be caused by a person’s lifestyle and occupation. Individuals with physically demanding jobs that require repetitive movements like pulling, pushing, lifting, twisting and bending sideways are at an increased risk of developing a herniated disc than other individuals. Additionally, people who have extremely active lifestyles (such as athletes) are also at a higher risk because they could be part of accidents that force a disc to become herniated.
Percutaneous Disc Nucleoplasty
Percutaneous disc nucleoplasty, also called a percutaneous disc compression, involves the insertion of a micro-engineered alloy into a herniated disc to reduce pressure inside of it from causing pain. Once the micro-engineered alloy transmitter has been inserted into the disc, it sends out radio wave signals to the herniated disc’s soft and jelly-like nucleus. These radio waves then remove the tissue volume through the low-temperature ionized gas produced by the said radio waves. As the tissue volume reduces, the pressure of the herniated disc lessens and pain symptoms subside.
The procedure takes about 30 minutes to complete. It is performed in a minimally invasive manner to reduce trauma that the patient experiences and to reduce recovery time. Most patients are able to return home the same day.
If you feel you may have a herniated disc, it’s crucial to see an orthopedic physician as soon as possible. The experts at Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland (OACM) are here to serve you. They have a wealth of knowledge and experience treating a variety of orthopedic conditions like herniated discs and would love to help you find relief. Call (410) 644-1880 to make an appointment or schedule an appointment online.