DESCRIPTION OF THE DISEASE
Intervertebral disc is an important part of the spine which has a rigid fibrous ring (annulus) and an inner fibrous-cartilaginous part (nucleus). With ageing (degenerative diseases) or sudden overload of the spine, the fibrous annulus is damaged, and the inner part bulges or protrudes through the annulus which is called disc herniation.
The last two low back discs which are abbreviated as L4-L5 or L5-S1 are the most common places of herniation. If the hernia is directed towards the spine or spinal canal, the consequences are nerve irritation and typical pain radiating through the leg – lumbar ischialgia or sciatica. Sometimes, the sensations in the leg can be altered and/or muscle paresis can occur, as well as urination difficulties, but very rarely.
Scientific evidence show that the leading cause of sciatica is not the mechanical nerve irritation of the disc herniation, but rather the immunological reaction on the small fragments of the nucleus near the nerve.
Because of that, most patients are treated conservatively: being inactive, drugs, physical therapy and/or vertebral interventions through 3-12 weeks.
MINIMALLY INVASIVE SURGERY – MICRODISCECTOMY
Disc herniation which causes neurological damage or long-term sciatica persisting despite the conservative treatment should be removed surgically. Today, microdiscectomy is the „gold standard“ of herniation surgeries in which by using a surgical microscope, all the fragments of the hernia are removed and spine stability is preserved. This way, potential complications are reduced, and patient rehabilitation is faster. Hospitalization is between 3 to 4 days and return to work is possible after just 6 weeks. This is proved by athletes (ice hockey, football, skiing) who resolved their long-term lumbar ischialgia in St. Catherine Specialty Hospital and returned to sports activities.
ADVICE FOR YOU
Disc herniation is a common disease of the spine in middle-aged and active population. When symptoms last more than 12 weeks, you should not waste quality life on looking for advice from alternative people and waiting for the nature to do its thing, but rather look for advice from the specialists at St. Catherine Specialty Hospital who will help you to resolve your issue as soon as possible.