Bulging Disc Treatment & Surgery in Princeton & Staten Island
If you are suffering from a bulging disc, the spine specialists at New Jersey Spine Surgeons can help. Our experienced doctors are committed to providing personalized care and treatment for your spinal issues. Learn more about bulging discs and our treatment options (including surgery options) below, or schedule a consultation with our spine doctors in Princeton and Staten Island.
What is a bulging disc?
Spinal discs are the rubbery cushions that separate each of the vertebrae in your spine. Discs are made of a soft cartilage, surrounded by a tougher exterior. A bulging disc is a condition that occurs when the disc bulges out from between its surrounding vertebrae. In most cases, the portion of the disc that bulges is the tough outer layer of cartilage. A bulging disc can cause pressure on nerves surrounding the spine, sometimes resulting in a pinched nerve or other painful symptoms.
Like a herniated disc, this condition involves a problem with the spinal discs. However, with a herniated disc, a crack in the tough outer layer of cartilage occurs, causing some of the softer inner center to protrude out of the disc.
What causes a bulging disc?
A bulging disc is considered a natural part of spinal aging and may be a sign of the degeneration process of intervertebral discs. But in some cases, it may be caused by an injury or other spinal condition. A bulging disc can also worsen when stress is put on the back over time. This can aggravate the condition and may even lead to a herniated disc or a pinched nerve.
What are the symptoms of a bulging disc?
While some patients may experience no symptoms with a bulging disc, others may experience pain or the following other symptoms. Pain from a bulging disc may start slowly and gradually worsen over time or may worsen when performing certain activities.
Symptoms that may be associated with a bulging disc in the cervical spine include:
- Neck pain
- Pain or tingling in the neck, shoulders, arms, hands or fingers
Symptoms that may be associated with a bulging disc in the thoracic spine include:
- Back pain
- Pain in the upper back that radiates to the chest or stomach
Symptoms that may be associated with a bulging disc in the lumbar spine include:
How is a bulging disc diagnosed?
If you are experiencing any symptoms that may be indicative of a bulging disc or if you believe you may be suffering from this condition, it is important to seek proper evaluation from a spine specialist. At New Jersey Spine Surgeons, our doctors will evaluate your symptoms and provide an accurate diagnosis following a physical examination, medical history, and any necessary imaging. An X-ray, MRI, or CT scan may be recommended to determine the severity of the condition and to detect any nerve-related issues.
What does bulging disc treatment involve?
Often times, our spine doctors and specialists at New Jersey Spine Surgeons will advise conservative treatment methods for a bulging disc. Treatment options depend on each patient’s needs and symptoms. In many cases, conservative treatment for a bulging disc may prove effective, which may involve taking pain medications, undergoing physical therapy or getting a cortisone shot.
If symptoms are severe or worsen over time, surgery may be recommended in order to correct the bulging disc and any related spine problems. Some of the bulging disc surgery options may include:
Cervical Bulging Disc Surgery Options
- Minimally invasive laminoforaminotomy
- Cervical disc replacement
- Cervical fusion
- Posterior spinal fusion
- Laminotomy and decompression
Lumbar Bulging Disc Surgery Options
- Minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF)
- Minimally invasive posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF)
- Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF)
- Oblique lumbar interbody fusion (OLIF)
- Extreme lateral interbody fusion (XLIF)
- Axial fusion
If you believe you may be suffering from a bulging disc, the first step is scheduling an evaluation with an experienced spine specialist. At New Jersey Spine Surgeons, we are dedicated to the preservation of motion and function through the latest minimally invasive spine procedures and treatments. Call (844)-7-NJSPINE today or fill out the form on this page to request a consultation at our Princeton and Staten Island offices.