What is a Herniated Disc?

Herniated DiscsA herniated disc occurs when the inner material or “nucleus” of the disc has pushed out through the outer material. With respect to herniated disc treatment, our founder, Dr. Bryan Massoud, developed a proprietary procedure that is recognized and implemented at our advanced spine center, and by other orthopedic surgeons around the world for herniated disc treatment.

There are three main classifications:

1) Contained Herniated Disc - The nucleus has not broken through the annulus.

2) Extruded Herniated Disc - The inner material has broken through the annulus, but is still attached to the disc.

3) Sequestered Herniated Disc - The nucleus has pushed through the annulus and broken away from it.

Herniated Disc Symptoms

In most cases, this condition will not cause localized pain unless it is applying pressure on the nearby soft tissue. Most often, symptoms will include pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness in the extremities. If a disc herniation occurs in the lumbar section of your spine, you will feel these symptoms in your lower buttocks, legs, and feet, while if it occurs in the cervical section of your spine, you will feel it in your upper extremities. Symptoms will worsen with activities that apply more pressure to the affected nerve(s) or surrounding tissue.

How is a Herniated Disc Diagnosed?

This condition usually occurs because the individual is seeking an answer for their sudden back pain symptoms. A herniated disc is commonly a consequence of a sudden jarring motion causing traumatic injury to the intervertebral disc. As wear and tear occurs on your spinal discs, you become more susceptible to a disc herniation. Incorrect lifting while bent at the waist, instead of the knees, is a frequent cause of this condition.

Herniated Disc Treatment Options

At Spine Centers of America, the patient comes first. We want to understand your medical history, diagnose your condition and treat accordingly. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your physician might initially recommend a non-surgical, conservative treatment approach or a minimally invasive laser spine procedure, if necessary.


At our advanced spine center, a conservative herniated disc treatment plan would first be implemented. The plan would include anti-inflammatory medicine, physical therapy and core stabilization exercises. Depending on the patient's pain level, pain narcotics may be prescribed to help deal with it during the initial stages of the herniated disc treatment.


If these treatments fail to provide substantial relief then some options that have proven to be very effective in treating a herniated disc are an endoscopic discectomy or transforaminal endoscopic lumbar procedure.  Our founder, Dr. Bryan Massoud has developed an advanced surgical technique for the treatment of lumbar disc herniation. Using the "Between" technique in the transforaminal endoscopic lumbar procedure, Dr. Bryan Massoud, and other surgeons he has taught, have found this technique to be safe, effective and easy to use. Details of the technique have been published in Surgical Technology International - Issue XIX (July 2010). 

If you need more information about this condition, feel free to visit our spine educational videos page or contact us to speak to a spine specialist.