Lumbar disc herniation (LDH)
is a common low back disorder. It is one of the most common diseases that produces low back pain and/or leg pain in adults. A herniated disc is a displacement of disc material (nucleus pulposus or annulus fibrosis) beyond the intervertebral disc space. This herniation process begins from failure in the innermost annulus rings and progresses radially outward. The damage to the annulus of the disc appears to be associated with fully flexing the spine for a repeated or prolonged period of time. The nucleus loses its hydrostatic pressure and the annulus bulges outward during disc compression. Other names used to describe this type of pathology are: prolapsed disc, slipped disc or spinal disc herniation, herniated nucleus pulposus and discus protrusion.
It is a medical condition affecting the spine in which tear in outer fibrous ring of IV disc allows soft central portion to bulge out beyond the damaged outer ring. This condition occurs when soft center of spinal disc pushes disc through a crack in the tougher exterior casing. It occur rarely in children, and are most common in young and middle-aged adults. A herniation may develop suddenly, or gradually over weeks or months.
- The management of disc herniation requires an interprofessional team. The initial treatment should be conservative, unless a patient has severe neurological compromise.
- Surgery is usually the last resort as it does not always result in predictable results. Patients are often left with residual pain and neurological deficits, which are often worse after surgery.
- Physical therapy is the key for most patients. The outcomes depend on many factors but those who particpate in regular exercise and maintain a healthy body weight have better outcomes than people who are sedentary.