As one of the most common injuries among athletes, herniated discs can be very painful. A disc can herniate in the neck (cervical) or the back (lumbar). Doctors at the USC Spine Center of Keck Medicine of USC use a team approach for initial treatment that includes oral medications, physical therapy and steroid injections.
When nonsurgical options are exhausted, surgery may be recommended. This minimally invasive spine operation involves making a small incision at the spine near the disc to remove the herniated part of the disk or any bone fragments that might be causing pain. A more complex treatment is cervical or lumbar discectomy and fusion, in which the entire herniated disc is removed and replaced with bone and a metal plate to support the spine.
What are the signs and symptoms of herniated disc?
- Radiating leg pain
- Back pain
- Swelling and inflammation in the lower back
- Numbness or weakness in one or both legs