Herniated discs are among the most common causes of back pain. At the NeuroSpine Center, Phillip Henkin, MD, the leading neurosurgeon in Tampa, Florida, emphasizes the most minimally invasive approaches to herniated disc treatment. As an elite Duke University-trained neurosurgeon and an MIT-trained engineer. Dr. Henkin possesses unique skills and draws upon a deep well of specialized experience to provide his patients with personalized treatment. Call the office now or click the online scheduler to make your appointment.
A herniated disc, also called a ruptured or slipped disc, is damage affecting a spinal disc. Your spinal discs sit between the bones in your spine (vertebrae), helping your spine bend smoothly.
Discs have a tough outer shell with a gel filling. But when the exterior develops a crack, the disc filling can leak out and pressure the spinal cord or nerve roots in the lumbar (lower) spine to cause back pain.
Less commonly, herniated discs occur in the cervical (upper) spine, producing neck pain or in the thoracic spine causing mid-torso back pain or leg weakness.
Pain is the most common sign of a herniated disc. Sciatica pain that radiates from one buttock down a leg is common with herniated discs. Similarly, cervical radiculopathy can occur in the upper spine, causing pain that shoots into an arm. In addition, herniated discs may cause numbness, tingling paresthesias, weakness or incoordination in the extremities.
Herniated disc pain can be sharp, with many people saying it feels like an electrical shock. Pain typically comes and goes and is often especially severe when walking or standing.
While these symptoms strongly suggest a disc problem, only a comprehensive spine evaluation at the NeuroSpine Center can determine whether you have a herniated disc.
Sudden injuries or unusual strain can cause a disc to herniate, but more commonly, they’re caused by degenerative wear-and-tear. The spinal cartilage discs naturally wear down with age, and the tissues that hold the discs in position loosen.
In middle aged and older people, herniated discs often develop due to fairly ordinary movements like twisting at the waist.
Dr. Henkin has decades of experience in treating herniated discs. He starts with conservative care, like physical therapy, before considering surgery.
Dr. Henkin primarily uses minimally invasive spine surgery when surgery is needed to treat herniated discs.
One highly advanced herniated disc surgery is microdiscectomy, in which Dr. Henkin removes the problem part of the disc through a small incision. Patching the disc after a microdiscectomy is a new approach to preventing another herniation.
Dr. Henkin uses more extensive techniques when needed, including removing the entire disc and fusing the vertebrae on either side to stabilize the spine.
Call the NeuroSpine Center now or click the online booking feature to make your appointment.