Spine Archive: Disk Herniation

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Should You Train Through Spine Pain?

“No pain, no gain” – aging athletes often work through pain, but is healthy? To learn more about the spine, search Dr. Anthony Leone’s Knowledge Center.

We’ve all heard this famous saying while at the gym, in movies, and from friends. But spine or back pain is a separate kind of pain – a serious pain that can mean serious complications. Athletes, especially those who are professionally training daily often force themselves to work through inflammation as they age. Certain inflammations like slight disc herniations are common and generally can be rectified with medication and conservative management. However, doctors encourage athletes to rest and to not work through the pain. Rest provides us with quicker recovery and better outcomes. Remember, your body needs exercise to strengthen the spine, but it also needs rest too. Don’t forget to take a breather!

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Disc Herniations in the Olympics

Even highly conditioned athletes are susceptible to normal back injuries. To learn more about the spine, search Dr. Anthony Leone’s Knowledge Center.

With the Rio Olympics in full swing from the track to the pool, athletes are pushing their bodies to the fullest extent possible. Unfortunately, injuries can still occur. Disc herniations can plague even the best athletes. Severe herniations are seen in sports involving high stress loads to the spine like weightlifting. Thankfully, injuries like a disc herniation can be quelled with a microdiscectomy. In a microdiscectomy, small incisions are made in key points for the surgeon to enter the problem area and correct it. Because these athletes are in great physical shape, their recovery time is shorter than a normal person. This is why it is important to keep in shape and achieve a healthy lifestyle.

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Lumbar Herniated Discs & Surgery

To learn more about spine surgery including microdiscectomy – contact Dr. Leone today.

When a patient is experiencing lumbar pain, sometimes surgery is an option to alleviate this pressure. A microdiscectomy is done to remove pressure from nerve roots allowing these roots the proper environment needed to heal. The good thing about this surgical procedure is that, with most cases, only small areas of the problem disc is removed – this means that the disc as a whole remains mostly intact.

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Common Causes of Lower Back Pain

Want to learn more about how lower back pain is caused and what contributes to it? Find out more here in Dr. Leone’s Knowledge Center.

In older adults the common causes of lower back pain involving the lumbar region of the spine are attributed to compression fractures or disc degeneration like osteoarthritis. In younger patients, back pain is more likely to be concentrated to the spacing between the discs via degenerative disc disease or a disc herniation. Sometimes back pain can even be the result of strains within the back muscles and other soft tissues located in or around the spine.

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Disc Herniations

Terminology for disc herniations varies widely in the medical community. Herniated discs, pinched nerves, bulging discs. Sometimes these terms cross-refer to one another. Nerve root pain is directly associated with disc herniations. Nerve root pain or pinched nerves are most accurately referred to as disc herniations.

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Cervical Disc Herniations in Athletes, WNY

Sports injuries are very common. Contact Dr. Leone for more information.

Cervical disc herniations in athletes who are involved in tackling sports can have disastrous sequelae if ignored. Players with disc bulges without frank herniation can return to sports when radicular symptoms have resolved and after the player has achieved full and painless motion of the neck.¹

¹Garfin MD, Steven. Orthopaedic Knowledge Update : Spine. Rosemont: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 1997.

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Thoracic Disk Herniations, Erie Co.

Learn more from Dr. Leone regarding disk herniations here in the Knowledge Center.

Thoracic disk herniations (TDH) have been found in up to 11% of presumed asymptomatic individuals in autopsy studies. TDH can be symptomatic, however, causing axial pain, radicular pain, or even myelopathy. Patients may give a history of trauma, such as axial load or automobile accident.¹

¹Garfin MD, Steven. Orthopaedic Knowledge Update : Spine. Rosemont: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 1997.

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Recurrent Herniations, Western NY

Find out more about serious spinal issues like herniations here in the Knowledge Center for spine & orthopedic surgery.

Recurrent herniations at the same level occur in approximately 5% of surgically treated patients at 5-year follow-up and can be ipsilateral or, less frequently, contralateral. A recent large population-based study from Finland analyzed the risk of reoperations after lumbar diskectomy. Fourteen percent of a total of 35,309 patients in the study group underwent a second procedure during the 10-year period of the study.¹

¹R. Vaccaro MD, Alexander. Orthopaedic Knowledge Update. Rosemont: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 2005.

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Lumbar Disc Herniation

A disk herniation is a localized displacement of disk material beyond the limits of the intervertebral space. The disk material can be nucleus pulposes, cartilage, ansulus fibrosus, fragments of apophyseal bone, or any combination of these materials. A herniated disc should be distinguished from a disk bulge, which is a diffuse symmetric outpouching of the anulus fibrosis associated with varying degrees of disk degeneration.

¹R. Vaccaro MD, Alexander. Orthopaedic Knowledge Update. Rosemont: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 2005.

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Etiology

Between 33% and 50% of patients report a history of trauma or significant physical exertion before the onset of symptoms. However, the role of trauma as the cause of thoracic disk herniations is controversial. Most authors favor degenerative processes as the major cause of disk herniations. ¹

¹R. Vaccaro MD, Alexander. Orthopaedic Knowledge Update. Rosemont: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 2005.