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Disc Prolapse – Basics…

What is disc prolapse?

The human spine has soft tissue / non bony structures called discs in between the vertebrae. Prolapse of this structure beyond its normal confines is called a disc prolapse. It can occur in any direction but is problematic when it occurs into the spinal canal or neural foramen (region from which nerves come out of spine).

Why does it occur?

Disc prolapse can occur due to acute trauma or following chronic stress due to a particular physical activity. With ageing degenerative changes take place in the disc which makes it more susceptible to prolapse without any precipitating event.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms depend on the site, degree and direction of disc prolapse. It commonly occurs in the lumbar or cervical (neck) region and can cause low back ache or neck pain. If the prolapsed disc causes compression of a particular nerve supplying the limb then there will be radiation of pain to that limb.

How to diagnose it?

The best imaging modality available today is MRI. It can directly show the site and degree / type of prolapse and also whether any neural compression is present or not. This helps decide the line of treatment- conservative or surgical. It also helps in planning the type of surgical approach needed.

How can I be helped at ARC telediagnosis?

If you send us your MRI images we could give you our opinion. Also we could do comparative evaluation for you if you have follow-up scans or pre and post- operative scans.

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