What is slipped disc?

Regardless of age and gender, slipped disc is one of the most frequently seen diseases of modern age. Healthcare professionals have initiated various actions as the slipped disc associated problems are gradually increasing. Contrary to past times, contemporary treatment of slipped disc is not a nightmare. Let’s analyze that disease which makes people sufferer, and leads to problems in professional and social life.

There are, in human anatomy, five lumbar vertebrae. Between the lumbar vertebrae, discs functioning like a softening shock absorber are located. Each one of these discs is elastic. Discs are full of a jellylike component. Due to herniation or tearing of this disc, the jellylike component starts to leak from the weakened location, which is known as “slipped disc”.

Shortly speaking slipped disc is a kind of jellylike component. There are five lumbar vertebrae in human anatomy. Cartilages known as discs are located among these lumbar vertebrae. Each disc is formed by a soft annulus containing jellylike component. Therefore, slipped disc is directly linked with annulus. That is, a torn annulus is the primary reason of slipped disc. Following the tear or deformation of annulus, jellylike component spills out of discs, and this causes a bulging. This bulging is slipped disc. If this jellylike component spills out of discs, patient will suffer from some complaints. Undoubtedly, one of the most pronounced and common complaints is pain. Underlying reason of such complaints originates from pressure of herniated disc on spinal cord or nerve roots. This disease can develop immediately or latently in weeks or even months, too.

What are the symptoms of slipped disc?

In the event that slipped disc is not treated accurately, it may lead to undesired results. Please keep in mind that everybody should care their own health and everybody should refer to reliable healthcare professional in case of slipped disc.

The first complaint patients suffer is pain in case of slipped disc. Such pains cannot be cured with ordinary pain-killers. Particularly those pains in waist and leg regions are the most pronounced. Numbness in legs and waist region is the other symptom of slipped disc. If patient does refer to physician in time, such complaints may be triggered and tingling can develop. If the treatment is not applied in time, loss of strength in leg as well as thinning can occur. In the next stage, limitation of mobility starts to develop. Patient can experience limping. Even one side of body can lean. Complaints of slipped disc gradually increase. For instance, neural deficit and reflex defects can occur. Sexual dysfunctions can develop, as well. Urinary and anal incontinence can rarely accompany. Urinary and anal incontinence arise from the excessive pressure of slipped disc on spinal cord and nerve roots. In the terminal stage of slipped disc, patients can experience stroke.

The first step to rule out slipped disc is to refer to a physician as soon as the patient experiences the related symptoms of slipped disc.

The most common symptoms of slipped disc are as follows:

  • Back and sometimes accompanying leg pain which cannot be ruled out with ordinary pain-killers or relaxation,
  • Numbness or tingling in legs,
  • Loss of strength,
  • Limping,
  • Leaning towards one side while walking,
  • Neural deficits and reflex defects,
  • Rare urinary incontinence.

What is the reason of slipped disc?

Patients used to think as if their lives would be ended with slipped disc. State of the art technology is used today to treat slipped disc and excellent results have been acquired. While jellylike component spreads and bulges in the disc, patient can immediately feel the related symptoms of slipped disc, but these symptoms can also be experienced within weeks or months. Patients should immediately pay a visit to their physicians if they present with persistent pains which are not ruled out with ordinary pain-killers. If not treated well, slipped disc may lead to undesired results including stroke. What is the underlying reason of slipped disc? Is slipped disc associated with the activities of patients or spontaneously developing?

There is not only one reason of slipped disc. It is associated with various reasons. Self activities of patients, living standards, and some other actions may cause slipped disc in years. Damaged cartilage in lumbar vertebrae is the most significant reason of slipped disc. Cartilage in lumbar vertebrae is primarily damaged because of postural and sitting disorder. One other reason of damaged cartilage is to carry heavy loads wrongly. Such activities deteriorate the biomechanics of vertebrate. Some other activities may also cause slipped disc. However unpredictable smoking is one of the underlying reasons of that disease, as well. Another reason of slipped disc is insufficient exercises. Obesity due to excessive food consumption and lack of exercises is also among the underlying reasons of slipped disc. Based upon these reasons, slipped disc starts to develop.

Some of the underlying reasons of slipped disc include but not limited to:

  • Heavy lifting,
  • Injuries,
  • Obesity (Excessive fatness)
  • Body enforcing activities,
  • Sudden and wrong motions,
  • Driving for long time,
  • Inactivity,
  • Sedentary lifestyle (No physical activity),
  • Smoking,
  • Constipation,

What are the treatment options for slipped disc? How to treat slipped disc?

Surgical treatment is not always preferred as the first option.

Qualified and specialized physicians do not prefer operations for slipped disc in the first hand. This is because slipped disc is generally a treatable disease which can be eradicated with early diagnosis and nonsurgical methods.

Dependent upon the severity of disease, treatment options will vary. Based upon the health status of the patient with slipped disc, the physician will try to treat the patient with medications and bed rest. Pressures upon nerves will be ruled out with bed rest. Meanwhile, physical therapy or rehabilitation can be preferred to reduce pains. In the event that all these options are not effective to remove slipped disc, epidural injection is evaluated. Epidural steroid injection is the administration of agents into the region in which nerves are compressed. Pain-killers, anti-edema in addition to anti-inflammatory drugs will be administrated into the affected region. Therefore, slipped disc complaints will be tried to be reduced or removed. Plus, another advantage of epidural steroid injection is to eliminate the nerve pressure on the region affected by slipped disc.

Despite nonsurgical options, if the complaints are persistent or not alleviated, physician will make decision for the surgical intervention. Golden standard for surgical treatment is Full Endoscopic Disc Surgery, the state of the art technology of modern age.

  • Medication treatment and bed rest,
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation,
  • Epidural steroid injection (Administration of several medication including pain-killer, anti edema and anti-inflammatory agents to the affected region),
  • Psychological supporting therapy,
  • Surgical intervention (For those patients whose clinical examinations results and MRI images are compatible).

What is Full Endoscopic Disc Surgery for Slipped Disc?

Compared with other surgical methods, endoscopic disc surgery is tissue friendly surgical intervention. One of the most crucial advantages of full endoscopic disc surgery as the golden standard is that the method does not harm healthy tissues during the intervention. The most advantageous part of this method for patients is that it enables patients to walk within 2 hours following the intervention as a tiny laceration is performed and herniated tissue is removed. Additionally, patients do not need any sitter to meet their needs. It is also possible to be discharged from hospital next day following the full endoscopic disc surgery.

Another advantage of full endoscopic disc surgery compared to other operation methods, this method reduces the recurrence ratios. Therefore, this method is both psychologically relaxing and brings comfort to patients.

Surgeons who will perform the full endoscopic disc surgery must be specialized and experienced. Salih Aydin, M.D. a surgeon in EmseyHospital has successfully carried out numerous surgical interventions for local and international patients with full endoscopic disc surgery.


Which patients are eligible for the full endoscopic disc surgery?

Are all the patients eligible for the full endoscopic disc surgery? It is apparent that full endoscopic disc surgery can be performed for all patients presenting with slipped disc. That means all patients regardless of their genders, ages; body weight can undergo this intervention. Furthermore, full endoscopic disc surgery is also indicated for patients suffering from obesity. This is because slipped disc operation in patients with obesity is more complicated compared to other patient groups. As potential damage to intact tissues as well as adhesions in cells or blood loss is ruled out with this technique, full endoscopic disc surgery is an optimal option for such patients. It is also known to be indicated for pregnant cases. That specialized, qualified and experienced surgeons should carry out that procedure is the most important requirement of this intervention.

What are the advantages of full endoscopic disc surgery compared to other surgical interventions?

According to studies held and statistics, slipped disc is one of the dominant diseases leading to labor loss. For slipped disc, which is caused by many reasons including but not limited to wrong physical activity, postural disorder, smoking, excessive and faulty load lifting as well as other numerous reasons, surgical intervention is considered as a last resort, and such operations can be easily performed by specialized surgeons and state of the art technology.

One of the advantages of full endoscopic disc surgery is less tissue loss during the operation. That is to say, healthy tissues are not damaged during the slipped disc surgery. As tiny laceration is performed to access into the bulged disc, blood loss does not occur.

The most useful benefit of full endoscopic disc surgery is short recovery and meeting the self needs without any companions postoperatively. This technique enables the patient to be discharged from the hospital only after 1 day. One additional advantage of this operational method compared to other conventional methods is that sexual activities are not ceased due to this technique.

Some of the advantages of full endoscopic disc surgery are as follows:

  • Small sized laceration, and optimal for cosmetic approach,
  • Less tissue trauma and less blood loss,
  • Lower complication ratios,
  • Shorter postoperative healing duration,
  • Earlier start to work,
  • Bathing 24 hours after the operation,
  • Lower needs for postoperative pain-killers, or no need to use postoperative pain-killers,
  • High level of postoperative comfort,
  • Lower risk for superficial scars compared to standard operations,
  • No complication if performed by qualified and experienced surgeons,
  • No need to cease anticoagulants if used due to cardiovascular diseases,
  • Easy to perform in obese patients,
  • A procedure not deteriorating the stability of motion ability of vertebrate,
  • Performing daily activities postoperatively and no need for rehabilitation processes,
  • Lower risk of recurrence of bulged disc postoperatively, and
  • Less possibility of transformation of complications into serious cerebrospinal fluid fistula as the adjacent tissues are well protected compared to the ordinary operations (0.3%-13%).

Where is full endoscopic disc surgery performed?

EmseyHospital located in Istanbul, is a healthcare facility well equipped and experienced to carry out full endoscopic disc surgery. The full endoscopic disc surgery is performed by Salih Aydin, a surgeon in EmseyHospital and his team.

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