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[Video] When Is Disc Herniation an Emergency?

Dr. Keshmiri talks about Disc Herniation and When It Can Become an Emergency
(Transcript Below)

When is Cervical Disc Herniation an Emergency?

Patients who present to the office with disc herniations in their neck typically have severe pain that radiates down their arm so they have numbness and tingling. Occasionally they can have some weakness. And while disc herniations typically are very painful, the majority of time they can be managed with conservative treatment.

However, there are rare cases when there are large disc herniations that can not only cause pressure on the nerves coming off the spine but actual pressure on the spinal cord and patients can develop what are called spinal cord conditions.

Spinal Cord Symptoms

The symptoms include numbness and tingling in the arms that is progressively getting worse, loss of bladder and bowel function, patients have difficulty walking because they are losing their balance because of the pressure on their spinal cord. Patients who have these symptoms typically require urgent medical evaluation including an urgent medial MRI. In cases where the MRI does confirm that there is a large central disc herniation causing severe pressure on the spinal cord, then urgent surgical treatment is recommended in order to decompress the spinal cord and provide the best long term outcome.

*Please Note: Information on this site or any recommended sites should not be used as a diagnosis or a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery