What Is A Ruptured Or Herniated Lumbar Disc?

Many Americans suffer from back pain. One of the most common causes is a ruptured or herniated disc.

The spinal column is made up of numerous bones (vertebrae) separated by discs. These discs act as a cushion, giving the spine flexibility and absorbing the shock of movement. The discs have an outer layer of fibrous material and an inner lay of softer, jelly-like material.

After a back injury — or simply as a result of normal wear and tear — the fibrous material of the disc may deteriorate and the inner jelly-like material may start to bulge out, causing lower back pain.

What's The Treatment?

The course of treatment for a ruptured disc depends on the nature of the injury. In some cases, conservative treatment — such as anti-inflammatory medication, exercises and physical therapy — may be enough. More severe cases may require spinal surgery.

Occasionally, a disc ruptures abruptly or severely enough to compress delicate nerve roots, causing symptoms such as:

  • Intense pain
  • Impaired bowel and bladder function
  • Tingling or numbness in the legs

These acute cases require prompt intervention. They may point to cauda equina syndrome, which is a surgical emergency.

If you have any of these symptoms, your doctor should definitively rule out cauda equina syndrome before sending you home. Delays or missed diagnoses can result in permanent nerve damage.

Get An Assessment Of Your Options

Need guidance on whether orthopedic negligence contributed to your back injury? Contact our legal team at the Boston-area law firm of Barry D. Lang, M.D. & Associates. Our attorneys and staff physicians are familiar with herniated lumbar discs, cauda equine syndrome and related conditions. We have handled these negligence cases across Massachusetts with great success.

For a free consultation, call 800-LAWYERS. We can often provide an evaluation of your claim right away. You won't have to pay any fees unless we obtain compensation for you.