Herniated Disc

Herniated Disc Treatment in Orange County

As part of our aging process, our bones, muscles, joints and soft tissues normally start to degenerate. As our spine degeneration begins on the spine, it can affect the discs that cushion and separate the vertebrae, leading to the formation of cracks and fissures in the disc walls.

The symptoms of a herniated disc depend on the exact level of the spine where the disc herniation occurs and whether or not nerve tissue is being irritated. A disc herniation may not cause any symptoms. However, disc herniation can cause local pain at the level of the spine affected. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Shooting pain down the buttock into the back of the thigh and down the leg
  • Numbness and tingling in the leg.
  • Pain often is worsened upon standing and decreases with lying down

Initial treatment will involve thorough medical history and physical exam, including the patient’s symptoms. To help detect a herniated disc, Robert Louis, MD conducts a neurological exam and may request for diagnostic imaging to find the exact location of disc degeneration causing the symptoms of a herniated disc.

Computerized tomography (CT Scan): CT scan may aid in determining the exact location of disc causing the nerve root and spinal cord compression.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): Advanced cases of Cervical Osteoarthritis show abnormal signal within the spinal cord on MRI imaging. In case of atrophy of the spinal cord due to nerve cell loss, also referred to as myelomalacia, surgical outcomes may not be as promising.

X-ray: Application of radiation to produce a film or picture of a part of the body can show the structure of the vertebrae and the outline of the joints.

Electromyogram (EMG): Used to document precisely which nerves are being irritated by a disc herniation

Depending on the severity of symptoms, the treatments Dr. Louis would recommend for a herniated disc include physical therapy, muscle-relaxant medications, pain medications, anti-inflammation medications, local injection of cortisone (epidural injections), and surgical operations. Surgical options include microdiscectomy using small surgical instruments and open surgical repair.

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
Robert Louis, MD specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery, wherein he incorporates his education, experience and training in cutting edge technology and instrumentation.

Robert Louis, MD, a fellowship-trained Orange County Neurosurgeon, is the Director of the Skull Base and Pituitary Tumor Program at Hoag Memorial Hospital in Orange County, California. Dr. Louis has particular expertise in endoscopic and minimally invasive treatment of brain and spinal conditions.

Dr. Robert Louis specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery for the treatment of Herniated DIsc. For appointments, please call (949) 383-4185 or Contact Us.