Contained and uncontained intervertebral disc herniation
There is an increasing reference to intervertebral disc herniations as contained (subligamentous) or uncontained. This is a rather nice and simple way to categorise disc herniations. A contained herniated disc is a herniated disc where the displaced portion is covered by the outer annulus fibres and/or the posterior longitudinal ligament. An uncontained herniated disc is a herniated disc where the displaced portion of the disc is not covered by the outer annulus fibres and/or the posterior longitudinal ligament.
Symptoms of contained and uncontained disc herniation
Contained and uncontained neck and back disc herniations may produce some neck and back pain. How much neck and back pain will depend on their location, size, mechanism of injury and a host of other factors. Indeed, some herniations will go unnoticed and will not produce pain. When a contained or uncontained disc herniation is associated with inflammation or compression of a spinal nerve, there will likely be pain in the neck or back depending on where in spine it occurs. In the neck, spinal nerve compression can cause neck pain and pain referral down the arm and into the fingers. In the low back, spine nerve compression can cause low back pain and pain all the way down to the legs and toes.
Treatment of contained and uncontained disc herniation
The treatment for any disc herniation will be determined on a case-by-case basis. At Sydney Spine & Sports Centre (S3C) our chiropractors and physiotherapists are very experienced in the treatment of disc herniation. Our treatments are safe, reliable and supported by the latest evidence. Contained and uncontained disc herniations will involve different treatments. Uncontained disc herniations of the back and neck will typically respond very well to chiropractic and physiotherapy (some cases do). Uncontained disc herniations will likely need a specialist surgical opinion in order to best manage this condition (not everyone will need a referral however).
You may be interested in these articles on intervertebral discs our Balmain and Rozelle chiropractors have put together
- Intervertebral disc summary
- Degenerative intervertebral discs (technical)
- Degenerative intervertebral discs (non-technical)
- Normal Vs pathological intervertebral disc changes
- Intervertebral disc bulge
- Intervertebral disc herniation
- Intervertebral disc protrusion
- Intervertebral disc extrusion
- Intervertebral disc sequestration
- Intervertebral disc high intensity zones
- Intervertebral disc dehydration
- Intervertebral disc fissures
- Intervertebral disc tears
- Intervertebral disc infection
- Traumatic intervertebral disc injury