Herniated Disc in Hialeah & Hollywood FL

Herniated Disc

Serving the South Florida area with locations in Hollywood and Miami, FL

Dr. Andreas C. Tomac, MD, PhD, FAANS is a distinguished neurosurgeon specializing in diagnosing and treating Herniated Disc.

What is a Herniated Disc?

A herniated disc, also known as a slipped or ruptured disc, is a spinal condition that occurs when the soft, gel-like inner core of an intervertebral disc protrudes or leaks through the tough outer layer. Intervertebral discs are cushions located between the vertebrae of the spine, providing support, flexibility, and shock absorption. When a disc herniates, it can put pressure on nearby nerves, leading to various symptoms.

Who can Herniated Disc affect?

Herniated discs have the potential to affect a wide range of individuals. Factors contributing to susceptibility include age, as the risk tends to increase with aging. Certain occupations involving repetitive lifting or bending can elevate the risk, along with a possible genetic predisposition to disc degeneration. Other factors include obesity, with excess body weight contributing to added stress on the spine. Men are generally more prone to herniated discs than women. Trauma or injury to the spine and smoking are additional factors associated with an increased risk. Poor posture maintained over time can also contribute to disc-related issues. It’s important to recognize that herniated discs can occur without clear risk factors. Seeking medical attention for symptoms such as back pain, radiating pain, numbness, or weakness is crucial for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate management. Healthcare professionals, including orthopedic specialists or spine specialists, can conduct thorough evaluations and recommend tailored treatment options based on the individual’s condition.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of a herniated disc can vary and may include:

  • Localized pain in the affected area, such as the lower back or neck.
  • Radiating pain that extends into the arms or legs, depending on the location of the herniation.
  • Numbness or tingling sensation in the affected extremities. Muscle weakness, particularly in the arms or legs.
  • Changes in reflexes.
  • Discomfort or pain that worsens with certain movements, such as coughing or sneezing.

It’s important to note that not everyone with a herniated disc experiences symptoms, and the severity can vary. 

Treating Herniated Disc

Herniated Disc in Hollywood & Miami FL

How is a Herniated Disc diagnosed?

Diagnosing a herniated disc involves a comprehensive evaluation. The steps typically include:

  • Medical History: Dr. Tomac gathers a detailed medical history, including information about the onset, duration, and characteristics of symptoms, as well as any relevant risk factors or previous spinal conditions.
  • Physical Examination: A thorough physical examination is conducted to assess the patient’s range of motion, reflexes, muscle strength, and any signs of neurological involvement. Dr. Tomac may perform specific tests to identify areas of tenderness or abnormalities.
  • Imaging Studies: Imaging tests, such as X-rays, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), or Computed Tomography (CT) scans, may be ordered. These tests provide detailed images of the spine, allowing visualization of the disc and identification of herniation.
  • Nerve Conduction Studies (Electromyography – EMG): These studies may be conducted to assess nerve function and identify areas of nerve compression or damage.
  • Discography: In some cases, discography may be recommended. This involves injecting a contrast dye into the affected disc to assess its structure and identify areas of leakage.
Herniated Disc in Hollywood & Miami FL

What treatments are available?

Treatment options for Flatback Syndrome may vary based on the severity of symptoms and the individual’s overall health. A neurosurgeon like Dr. Tomac can provide expertise in both non-surgical and surgical interventions. Common treatment approaches include:

Conservative Treatments:

  • Physical Therapy: Targeted exercises to improve posture, strengthen muscles, and enhance flexibility.
  • Pain Management: Medications for pain relief, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  • Lifestyle Modifications: Recommendations for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including avoiding prolonged standing or walking.

Interventional Procedures:

  • Epidural Steroid Injections: Injections into the epidural space to deliver anti-inflammatory medication and reduce pain and inflammation.

Surgical Options:

  • Spinal Fusion: Surgical procedure to stabilize the spine and restore proper alignment. This may involve fusion of specific vertebrae to maintain curvature.
  • Osteotomy: Surgical procedure to correct the alignment of the spine by removing or repositioning bone segments.