there is an increased risk of herniated disc in this group. Other risk factors include any congenital conditions that affect the size of the lumbar spinal canal. MANIFESTATION SYMPTOMS OF HERNIATED LUMBAR DISK • • • • • Muscle spasm Muscle weakness or atrophy in later stages Pain radiating to the buttocks. This unfortunate result is not always specifically the result of surgery.2% of the time. nonoperative treatment. Since these factors are typically the same after surgery. The cervical disks are affected 8% of the time and the upper-to-mid-back (thoracic) disks only 1 . over the general population. the good news is that the majority of disc herniations (90%) do not require surgery. and rarely the hand. • Tingling or numbness in legs or feet SYMPTOMS OF HERNIATED CERVICAL DISK • • • • • • • Arm muscle weakness Deep pain near or over the shoulder blades on the affected side Neck pain. After a successful laminotomy and discectomy. are not disabling. especially in the back and sides Increased pain when bending the neck or turning head to the side Pain radiating to the shoulder. straining. There may be small permanent patches of numbness in the involved leg which. Nerve roots (large nerves that branch out from the spinal cord) may become compressed resulting in neurological symptoms. and will resolve with conservative. legs. and feet Pain made worse with coughing. degenerated discs will go on to experience symptomatic or severe and incapacitating low back pain which significantly affects their life activities and work. Ruptured disk INCIDENT RATE Most herniation takes place in the lower back (lumbar area) of the spine. or laughing Severe low back pain . When this occurs. Disk herniation occurs more frequently in middle aged and older men. Cervical radiculopathy. straining. ALTERNATIVE NAMES Lumbar radiculopathy. forearm. Unfortunately. fortunately. upper arm. Flare-ups or exacerbations of less severe and less significant sciatic type pain may develop in the future (usually on an infrequent basis). and it is one of the most common causes of lower back pain. work or behavioral habits. or laughing Spasm of the neck muscles TYPE/STAGE/CLASSIFICATION Person who has sustained one disc herniation is statistically at increased risk for experiencing another. Herniated intervertebral disk. Lumbar disk herniation occurs 15 times more often than cervical (neck) disk herniation. the prognosis is poor for returning to normal life activities regardless of age. fingers or chest Pain made worse with coughing.HERNIATED NUCLEUS PULPOSUS DEFINITION A herniated nucleus pulposus is a slipped disk along the spinal cord. 80-85% of patients do extremely well and are able to return to their normal job in approximately six weeks time. However. Slipped disk. approximately 5% of patients with herniated. Factors involved may be weight related level of physical conditioning. and my be from several sources. RISK/PREDISPOSING FACTORS • • Strenuous physical activity Congenital conditions that affect the size of the lumbar spinal canal. and a lesser incidence of new disc herniation at another level. without significant long-term sequelae. such as sensory or motor changes. especially those involved in strenuous physical activity. There is an approximate 5% rate of recurrent disc herniation at the same level. The causes of this unremitting pain are not always clear or agreed on. The condition occurs when all or part of the soft center of a spinal disk is forced through a weakened part of the disk. Prolapsed intervertebral disk.

which radiates to the buttocks legs and feet. numbness. or pain. The thoracic vertebrae comprise the chest section and have ribs attached. The mainstay of treatment for herniated disks is an initial period of rest with pain and anti-inflammatory medications followed by physical therapy. it is a condition known as a slipped disk. Pain associated with the sciatic nerve usually originates higher along the spinal cord when nerve roots become compressed or damaged from narrowing of the vertebral column or from a slipped disk. When the soft. Most herniation takes place in the lumbar area of the spine. gelatinous central portion of an intervertebral disk is forced through a weakened part of the disk. Herniated disk repair Herniated nucleus pulposus is a condition in which part or all of the soft. Symptoms can include tingling. gelatinous central portion of an intervertebral disk is forced through a weakened part of a disk.Sciatic Nerve Skeletal Spine The spine is divided into several sections. The lumbar vertebrae are the remaining vertebrae below the last thoracic bone and the top of the sacrum. resulting in back pain and nerve root irritation. The sacral vertebrae are caged within the bones of the pelvis. and it is one of the most common causes of lower back pain. Herniated Nucleus Pulposus The main nerve traveling down the leg is the sciatic nerve. and the coccyx represents the terminal vertebrae or vestigial tail. If pain . The cervical vertebrae make up the neck.

and symptoms persist. . surgery to remove the herniated portion of the intervertebral disk is recommended.

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