Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: April 6, 2015
A sequestered disc fragment in the spine is a serious condition that can cause a lot of pain and even loss of feeling. In this article we are going to explain the causes of a sequestered spinal disc fragment, and talk about the various treatment options available for resolving this condition.
What is a Sequestered Disc Fragment?
A sequestered disc fragment is a piece of a spinal disc that, for one reason or another, moves out of its proper place in the spinal column and into the spinal canal. In a sequestered disc, the nuclear material is completely removed from the disc itself. The nuclear material can then negatively impact the spinal nerves. This can happen as a result of several factors. It can be caused by an acute injury from a car accident, or while playing a sport, or it can develop over time as a patient ages.
Here are some warning signs and symptoms that may indicate a sequestered disc:
- Back pain
- Decreased mobility
- Numbness or tingling in the extremities
- Bladder or bowel control issues
These symptoms can also indicate a number of other spinal conditions such as a pinched nerve, herniated discs, or spinal stenosis. As a result, a disc fragment can be difficult to diagnose because other conditions have to be ruled out first.
Tips for Treating Disc Fragments in the Spine
Treating a sequestered disc fragment first requires an accurate diagnosis. Once an accurate diagnosis is made, the fragment can be treated with conservative options (massage, chiropractic, injections) or surgery, depending on the patient’s situation. If conservative options fail, a minimally invasive spinal fusion surgery is typically the best option for removing the fragment and freeing up any impacted nerves in the spine. It’s important to know and understand the full range of treatment options before making a decision about your care. Talk to your physician to see what their recommendations are if you are diagnosed with a sequestered disc fragment.