Herniated disc is a common pathology that significantly affects the life of the person who suffers it. The option of operating on a herniated disc always arises when this situation has a great impact on the patient’s daily activities or if other types of approaches have failed.
Currently there are numerous techniques to operate on a herniated disc. Each is best suited to the characteristics of the injury and the patient, as well as the experience and preferences of the surgeon.
Thanks to this intervention, the quality of life may improve. However, it is not easy and it also involves a number of risks. In this article we explain everything you need to know about the subject.
What is a herniated disc?
To understand what a herniated disc is, you must first know the anatomy of the spine. The spine is made up of the vertebrae, which are individual bones. Between them are cartilaginous tissue discs whose function is to cushion the impact. They are the intervertebral discs.
Discs are made up of a nucleus pulposus and an annulus fibrosus. The annulus is the outermost part that surrounds the nucleus. As explained by specialists from the Mayo Clinic, a herniated disc occurs when the nucleus protrudes outward through a tear in the annulus fibrosus.
Hernias can occur anywhere in the spine. The disc can then irritate some nerves. Symptoms vary depending on the location and severity of the protrusion.
Herniated discs are very common. It is estimated that they affect between 5 and 20 of every 1000 adults under the age of 49. The most common is that they occur in the lumbar or cervical area and are accompanied by pain or alterations in mobility and sensitivity.