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Medical Tourism Guide

Spine Surgery Guide

What is a Herniated Disc?

The bones (vertebrae) that form the spine in your back are cushioned by small, spongy discs. When these discs are healthy, they act as shock absorbers for the spine and keep the spine flexible. But when a disc is damaged, it may bulge or break open. This is called a herniated disc. It may also be called a slipped or ruptured disc.

You can have a herniated disc in any part of your spine. But most herniated discs affect the lower back (lumbar spine). Some happen in the neck (cervical spine) and, more rarely, in the upper back (thoracic spine). This topic focuses mainly on the lower back.
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If you're concerned you are showing signs of degenerative disc disease, and would like to confirm your suspicions, you should take a moment to visit our symptoms page. Here, the experts at We Care India go over the common symptoms associated with degenerative disc disease.

It is important to know what activities can lead to degenerative disc disease if they are not performed with caution. One of the best ways to prevent this condition is to know how it's developed. We suggest you take a few moments to review our page dedicated to the cause of degenerative disc disease.

Making a degenerative disc disease diagnosis can require additional tests, such as:
  • Bone scan: To help your doctor detect spinal problems such as osteoarthritis, fractures, or infections (which can all be related to DDD), you may have a bone scan. You will have a very small amount of radioactive material injected into a blood vessel. That will travel through your blood stream and be absorbed by your bones. More radioactive material will be absorbed by an area where there is abnormal activity-such as an inflammation. A scanner can detect the amount of radiation in all your bones and show the "hot spots" (the areas with more radioactive material) to help your doctor figure out where the problem is.

  • Discogram or discography: This is a procedure that confirms or denies the disc(s) as the source of your pain. You will have a harmless dye injected into one of your discs. If there's a problem with your disc—like it's herniated—the dye will leak out of the disc. The doctor will be able to see that on an x-ray, and that will show him/her that there's something wrong with your disc.

  • Myelogram: To see if you have a spinal canal or spinal cord disorder—perhaps nerve compression causing pain and weakness—you may have a myelogram. In this test, you'll have a special dye injected into the area around your spinal cord and nerves. (Before that happens, the area will be numbed.) Then you'll have an x-ray or a CT scan. The image will provide a detailed anatomic picture of your spine, especially of the bones, that will help your doctor to identify any abnormalities.

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This information is not designed to replace a physician's independent judgment about the appropriateness or risks of a procedure for a given patient.
Always consult your doctor about your medical conditions or back problem. We Care Health Services does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Use of the site is conditional upon your acceptance of our Terms and Conditions is a member of the medical tourism information network

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