Slipped Disc: Causes, Symptoms, Risk & Treatment?

By Dr. Mihir Bapat in Institute for Bone, Joint Replacement, Orthopaedics Spine and Sports Medicine , Spine Surgery Unit

Apr 24 , 2023 | 4 min read

What is Slipped Disc?

A herniated disc or a slipped disc occurs when the fibrous outer portion of the disc ruptures or tears and a jelly-like core squeezes out which represents a "rapid model" of nerve compression. When a nearby nerve is compressed by herniated disc the result is a pinched nerve. This pinched nerve becomes the cause of pain, numbness, tingling or weakness in the legs. The disc’s jelly-like core also causes irritation and inflammation of the nerve which thus causes additional pain.

Also Read About Spine Pain


Symptoms of Slipped Disc/Herniated Disc

  • Continuous back pain gets worse with movement, coughing, sneezing, or standing for long periods of time.
  • Back muscles Spasm
  • Sciatica is a radiating pain that starts near the back or buttock and from there travels down the leg to the foot or into the calf
  • A feeling of muscle weakness in the legs
  • The feeling of numbness in the leg or foot
  • Changes in the functioning of the bowel or bladder
  • Facing difficulties in walking


The symptoms may also resemble some other medical problems or conditions so always consider a doctor for the right diagnosis. So if you are suffering from a slipped disc and living in Mumbai and looking for the best spine surgery hospitals in Mumbai with the best treatment for slip disc then there is no better option than Nanavati Max.


Causes and Risk Factors of Slipped Disc/Herniated Disc:

With growing age, the intervertebral discs lose the water content and also the ability to cushion the vertebrae. As a result, the discs do not remain as flexible. The fibrous outer portion of the disc also gets more likely to rupture or tear. An injury or tear to the outer layer of the disc (called the annulus fibrosis) can cause acute disc herniation’s also in young and healthy people.


Who is at Risk?

People between the ages of 25-40 are at the highest risk as the activity levels are high during this period and also the disc starts degenerating. People who are obese, sedentary individual that occasionally indulges in unaccustomed strenuous activities are at the highest risk of getting this problem as compared to an individual who indulges in strenuous activities that challenge the mechanical endurance of the back.


Tests and Diagnosis for Slipped Disc

You can visit the best spine surgery hospital in Mumbai for accurate diagnosis and the best treatment for slip discs. Following diagnostic procedures are required for the people who have the symptoms of slipped disc present in them:


Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging: In this method, the imaging of the spinal cord, nerve roots, intervertebral discs, and ligaments are done.


Electromyography (EMG): In this method, the electrical activity of a nerve root is tested which helps in determining the cause of pain


Herniated Disc/Slipped Disc Treatments

The majority of the slipped disk can be managed by rest, medications, and epidural injections and there is not any requirement for surgery. The injured disk heals over three to four weeks with complete bed rest as it reduces the amount of stress on the injured disc. When the pain reaches tolerable limits then resuming normal physical activities and exercise is necessary.


Surgical Treatments for Slipped Disc

The surgical treatment for a herniated disc is based on the following:

  • The history and the severity of the pain of the patient and also its duration
  • How effective were the previous treatments if the patient has received any before
  • Is there any evidence of any sort of neurologic damage such as sensory loss, weakness, impaired coordination, or bowel or bladder problems?


If the patient does not get any relief from non-operative treatments over a period of six to twelve weeks then only surgery is recommended by the spine doctors. Surgery is also recommended in the case of patients having a neurologic deficit like numbness, weakness, or reduced function due to pressure on the spinal cord or nerves. In order to maximize the likelihood of neurologic recovery, early intervention is the best.


How Will be the Surgery Done?

Microdiscectomy: This is keyhole surgery and is minimally invasive.

In this procedure, a microscope and a microsurgical tool are used to remove that portion of the nerve which is pressing against the nerve. The procedure aims at removing the loose fragments which are enough for freeing the nerve and causing a relief of the pain. The healing of the annulus happens naturally thus applying normal activity. A small skin incision is made over the spine and the procedure is performed under general anesthesia.

Frequently Asked Questions


How long is the hospital stay?

It is usually one day.

What is the duration of the bed rest?

There is no need for any bed rest the patient is made to walk on the same day and also discharged on the very next day.


Can the problem reoccur?

The surgery aims at controlling the pain through a keyhole incision. However, the spine is not weakened or strengthened through the procedure.


Is the procedure safe?

This procedure is quite safe and you can restore to normal activities. There are very minimal chances of nerve injury because of the use of a microscope. The complication rate can be just 1% or even less.


Can the patient get back to normal life after the surgery?

The surgery of the disc does not refrain you from pursuing normal activities. However, maintenance of the spine is required like any other machine. The body weight should be kept in check along with regular core strengthening exercises.


Nanavati Max is the best hospital in Mumbai that you can blindly trust for all your spine-related problems.

Reviewed By

Dr. Mihir Bapat (Director & Sr Consultant of Spine Surgery)

Dr. Mihir Bapat is a Director & Sr Consultant at Nanavati Max Institute of Spine Surgery with experience spanning over 25 years. He has performed over 8000 successful spine surgeries and had been awarded numerous accolades for his contribution in the field. He specializes in Column traumatology, Percutaneous Vertebroplasty for Compression Fracture, and Complex Spinal Deformity Correction.


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