Herniated Disc

Town Center Orthopaedic Associates

Orthopaedic Surgeon located in Reston, VA & Centreville, VA

A herniated disc is a condition that can irritate the nerves in your spine, resulting in issues like neck, back, or leg pain. At Town Center Orthopaedic Associates in Reston and Centreville, Virginia, the team offers both conservative and surgical treatment options for people with herniated discs. Led by a team of highly skilled orthopaedic specialists, the practice is committed to finding the right solution for each patient. To speak with a doctor about your condition, book your appointment by phone or online today.

Herniated Disc Q & A

What is a spinal disc?

Also known as an intervertebral disc, a spinal disc is a small rubber-like pad that sits in between each of your vertebrae. The disc acts as a shock absorber that cushions and holds together the vertebrae of your spine. Discs consist of a soft inner material surrounded by a tougher exterior. 

A herniated disc occurs when the inner material pushes through the tough exterior. 

What causes a herniated disc?

In most cases, disc degeneration or gradual wear-and-tear on your discs causes herniated discs. Over time, the discs stiffen and become more prone to tears. 

Once the inner material pushes through the tear in the exterior, it can put pressure on a nearby nerve, resulting in painful symptoms.  

Certain factors like obesity or occupations that require repetitive lifting or bending can increase your risk of a herniated disc. 

What are the symptoms of a herniated disc?

A herniated disc can occur anywhere on your spine, but it most commonly affects the lower back or neck. If you have a herniated disc, you may experience symptoms like:

  • Sharp or shooting pain
  • Pain in your shoulder or arm 
  • Leg pain
  • Foot pain
  • Numbness 
  • Tingling
  • Muscle weakness

Without proper treatment, a herniated disc can lead to worsening symptoms and further complications like loss of sensation or bladder dysfunction. 

If you experience symptoms, book an appointment at Town Center Orthopaedic Associates. The team offers advanced diagnostics and can determine the most effective treatment for you. 

How is a herniated disc diagnosed?

To begin your diagnosis, your doctor performs a physical exam and reviews your medical history. In some cases, your doctor may perform a neurological exam to test your muscle strength and reflexes. 

They also conduct imaging tests like an X-ray or MRI to evaluate the structures of your spine. The details of your herniated disc diagnosis help your doctor determine the most appropriate treatment. 

What treatments are available for a herniated disc?

In most cases, Town Center Orthopaedic Associates begins with conservative treatment. Your doctor may combine several conservative treatments to effectively address your herniated disc. 

Conservative treatment for a herniated disc may include:

  • Pain medication
  • Spine injections
  • Physical therapy
  • Regenerative medicine

If your condition doesn’t respond to conservative treatment, your doctor may recommend surgery. Surgical options for herniated discs include discectomy, laminectomy, and total disc replacement. 

Town Center Orthopaedic Associates offers a wide range of treatments for herniated discs. To learn more about your treatment options, call or book your appointment online today.