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Spinal disc herniation refers to bulging, slipping and/or tearing of the spinal intervertebral disc. The intervertebral disc consists of a tough outer layer called the annulus fibrosus and the softer gel-like centre called the nucleus pulposus. The intervertebral discs act as shock absorbers within the spine, but also allow for the spine to bend in all directions. If a spinal disc has herniated (or slipped) it results in significant pain and inflammation. Patients with spinal disc herniation may complain of back pain and sciatica. (See section on sciatica). If the annulus fibrosus is damaged or torn, the central gel-like nucleus pulposus can leak out and into the spinal canal. This causes local inflammation, which can irritate the spine to cause back pain and leg pain. If untreated this may resolve by itself, but in some cases could go on to become a chronic condition.

In the most minor cases, conservation management and physical rehabilitation is the best approach, but in the most severe cases, surgery may even be required. However, in many cases, a cortisone injection directly to the affected area can be very beneficial. A Transforaminal Epidural injection is a way of injecting anaesthetic and cortisone directly to the affected area with pinpoint precision. This technique can often be used to treat pain and inflammation and therefore promote healing of the disc without the need for more invasive spinal surgery. (See section on Transforaminal Epidural).

Here at the London Interventional Clinic our consultant, Dr Stephen Humble, regularly treats patients with Spinal disc herniation successfully using a combination of anti-inflammatories, exercises and outpatient procedures. Get in touch with a member of our team who would be happy to discuss your requirements and the options for appointments available to you.

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