To better understand your condition and the variabilities that may arise, please review the case examples provided. It should be noted that each patient is different; the focus should be on the concepts underlying the treatment.
Commonly, a herniated disc is called a “ruptured”, “bulging”, or “slipped” disc and occurs when part of the disc material pops out of place and bulges into the spinal canal, sometimes placing pressure on the nerves. Surgical techniques aim to remove the pressure on neural structures.
Over time, repeated daily stresses and minor injuries add up and begin to affect the discs in your spine. As a result of the wear and tear, back or neck pain can result. Also, the disc or bony outgrowths can press on vital neural structures causing arm or leg pain. In addition, the structure of the spine can be affected, resulting in deformities such as degenerative scoliosis or spondylolisthesis. Surgical treatments aim to remove pressure on neural elements and to restore stability to the spine.
Trauma can result in injury to the soft tissues of the spine. More severe injuries can result in fractures which can render the spine unstable. Neurologic injuries can result from instability. The goal of treatment is to restore stability to the spine and remove pressure on neural elements.
The spine can curve, slip, or rotate beyond its normal alignment and in multiple planes. Such deformities can be progressive. The goal of treatment is to arrest progression of the deformity, restore the normal alignment of the spine, relieve pain caused by the deformity, and prevent or alleviate nerve impingement.