Category: Minimally Invasive Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: September 1, 2016
We’ve talked a lot about herniated discs in the spine, and how to best identify and treat them. Treating one herniated disc can be difficult in its own right, but when you have bulging discs at multiple levels of the spine, it can be even more complicated. In this article, we are going to offer some tips for treating herniated discs that occur at multiple levels of the spine.
Multi-Level Herniated Discs
Discs can herniate at multiple levels for numerous reasons. An acute injury (caused by a car crash, for example) can cause herniation of several discs at once. Additionally, when an area of the spine is weakened as the result of degenerative conditions like arthritis, all the discs in the area are susceptible to herniation.
Treatment Options for Multiple Herniated Discs
As is the case with most conditions of the spine, numerous herniated spinal discs can be treated conservatively with pain relievers, injections, and physical therapy. However, most patients with herniated discs at multiple levels have severe pain and sensory issues. Minimally invasive surgical procedures are often the best course of action for a long-term treatment plan. When a patient chooses surgery, there are a few procedures that can be done. A discectomy can remove some or all of the herniated disc in question to free up any nerves in the area. After that a fusion can stabilize the area and prevent future issues. Alternatively, an artificial disc replacement procedure (such as the Mobi-C artificial disc) can accomplish the same goals while preserving range-of-motion in the spine. Whether you’re a better candidate for a fusion procedure or a total disc replacement will depend heavily on the circumstances surrounding your situation. Always consult with a skilled spine surgeon before making a decision about your surgical care.