Disc extrusion

Intervertebral Disc Extrusion

An extruded disc is a type of herniated disc. A herniated disc describes both disc protrusions and extrusions. An extruded disc is defined as a local area of the disc that has extended beyond where the disc usually sits (apophyseal ring). Opposite to a disc protrusion, when the length of a disc extrusion is observed, there is more disc material pocking out of the disc then within the disc. This means more material has come out compared to a disc protrusion. A subcategory of a disc extrusion is a disc sequestration, this occurs when they end of the disc extrusion breaks off and is no longer continuous with the rest of the extrusion. Sometimes people say the sequestrated disc has ‘migrated’. This means it’s moved away.

Symptoms of a disc extrusion

A disc extrusion will generally cause neck and back pain. All disc extrusions (herniations in general), involve tears (fissures) within a disc. These will likely cause pain within the disc called discogenic pain. In disc extrusions there will be inflammation within the disc and this may cause a content (chemical) type of neck and back pain. If the extrusion hits and spinal cord or spinal nerves in the neck this can cause neck pain, arm pain and arm weakness. If the extruded disc is in the low back this can cause low back pain, and pain in to the leg, and feet. Muscle weakness is possible. A sequestrated disc can cause a condition know as cauda equina syndrome and this is a medical emergency.

Treatment of a disc extrusion

Chiropractic and physiotherapist for an extruded disc in the neck and back will be decided on a case my case basis. Indeed, this is likely requiring a specialist medical referral to a surgeon. However at Sydney Spine & Sports Centre (S3C) chiropractic and physiotherapy will concentrate on the treatments that are currently considered evidence based and the gold standard. Neither our chiropractors nor physiotherapists use manipulation for disc extrusions. Disc extrusion treatments are safe, effective and reliable to reducing pain and improving the function and pain free motion of the spine.

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