Herniated discs are one of the top causes of pinched nerves and potentially debilitating back and leg pain. Ripul Panchal, DO, at American Neurospine Institute, PLLC develops customized treatment plans focused on providing optimal pain relief. Your treatment starts with conservative therapies, but when surgery is needed, you can depend on Dr. Panchal’s extensive experience, his specialization in minimally invasive spine surgery, and his dedication to preserving spine movement. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Plano, Texas, or use the online booking feature.

Herniated Discs Q & A

What causes a herniated disc?

The discs between each vertebra are made of a strong outer covering that encloses a gel-like center. This design allows the discs to serve as shock-absorbing cushions that support and stabilize your spine.

Over the years, discs gradually dehydrate and weaken due to wear-and-tear degeneration. Less commonly, a disc becomes damaged due to an injury such as a fall. Once a weakness in the outer covering develops, pressure from your spine pushes the center of the disc through that weak area.

In some cases, the disc only bulges out. However, a true herniated disc occurs when the cover ruptures and the inner material leaks out.

What symptoms develop due to a herniated disc?

Symptoms arise when a bulging disc pushes against the nearby nerves or when contents from inside the disc burst out and irritate the nerves. You may experience:

  • Chronic lower back pain
  • Sudden electric-shock pain
  • Numbness or tingling in your leg or foot
  • Cramping or muscle spasms in your leg or back
  • Muscle weakness in your legs or feet

If the damaged disc flattens, you’ll develop spinal instability.

How is a herniated disc treated?

The first line of treatment for a herniated disc includes options such as muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy. If your pain persists despite conservative care, Dr. Panchal may recommend surgery.

The traditional surgical treatment is discectomy or disc removal. After a discectomy, many surgeons perform a bone fusion to stabilize the vertebrae, but a fusion restricts movement. Dr. Panchal offers a better option: motion preservation surgery.

After removing the damaged disc, Dr. Panchal implants an artificial disc, which restores stability, and maintains spinal motion.

Why do you prefer minimally invasive surgery for herniated discs?

Dr. Panchal has extensive experience using minimally invasive surgery to replace vertebral discs. This technique only requires a small incision, and it doesn’t cut through your muscles.

Instead, a small tube is inserted between the muscle fibers, then the tube’s diameter is gradually enlarged, stretching the muscles just enough to allow Dr. Panchal to insert the narrow surgical instruments needed to perform your surgery.

Following your surgery, you have less pain and a quick recovery because your muscles stay intact and don’t need time to heal; they only need to move back into place.

Dr. Panchal is also an expert in computer-guided and robot-assisted surgeries. With today’s technology, he can precisely plan your spinal surgery and perform the procedure with greater accuracy. 

If you suffer from back pain, call American Neurospine Institute or schedule an appointment online.