Herniated Disc Specialist

Nkrumah Neurosurgery & Spine

Louis J Nkrumah, MD, PhD

Neurosurgery located in Lake Success, NY

A herniated disc is a common cause of back pain. Depending on the location and size of your herniated disc, your pain may be an ongoing problem that radiates into your arms or legs. Louis Nkrumah, MD, PhD, at Nkrumah Neurosurgery & Spine in Lake Success, New York, is an esteemed neurosurgeon who provides comprehensive treatment options for herniated discs. To schedule an appointment, call the office or click the online booking button today.

Herniated Disc Q & A

What is a herniated disc?

A herniated disc is a ruptured intervertebral disc. Intervertebral discs are gel-like cushions that separate each vertebral bone in your spine. These discs have a tough exterior (annulus) that surrounds and protects the soft, gel-like center (nucleus).

With a herniated disc, the nucleus pushes through the annulus into the spinal canal, compressing or irritating the spinal cord or spinal nerve root. You can develop a herniated disc from lifting something too heavy or from a traumatic accident. 

As you get older your intervertebral discs degenerate, making them more susceptible to tearing and herniation. 

What are the symptoms of a herniated disc?

Herniated disc symptoms vary and depend on the location and size of the herniation. Back pain that results from a herniated disc may resolve over time.

However, if a herniated disc irritates or pinches a spinal nerve or the spinal cord, you may experience:

  • Radiating pain along the path of the nerve, usually into the arms or legs
  • Tingling, numbness, or burning sensation
  • Arm or leg muscle weakness
  • Electric shock-like sensations when you cough, sneeze, or move

A herniated disc is a common cause of sciatica, which is a nerve condition that develops from irritation or pinching of the sciatic nerve. 

However, pinched nerves from a herniated disc may occur anywhere in the spine. 

What happens during a herniated disc evaluation?

Dr. Nkrumah specializes in diagnosing and treating the many causes of back pain, including herniated discs. When you come in for an evaluation, he reviews your medical and family history and asks detailed questions about your symptoms.

He closely examines your spine, looking for signs of pain, redness, and swelling, and performs a physical and neurological exam. Dr. Nkrumah also orders imaging tests, such as CT scans, X-rays, or MRIs, to find the location of your herniated disc and the affected nerves. 

How is a herniated disc treated?

Dr. Nkrumah creates individual treatment plans for herniated discs based on the location, severity of symptoms, and your overall health. Initially, he may recommend conservative treatments such as:

  • Medication
  • Activity modification
  • Physical therapy
  • Back brace
  • Spine injections

If conservative measures fail to provide significant relief from your herniated disc symptoms, he may suggest surgery. Dr. Nkrumah is an experienced neurosurgeon who performs complex and minimally invasive spine surgery.

For a herniated disc, Dr. Nkrumah removes the damaged disc and may perform disc replacement surgery or lumbar fusion to stabilize the spine and ease symptoms. 

When traditional medical care no longer provides significant relief from your herniated disc symptoms, schedule an appointment at Nkrumah Neurosurgery & Spine by calling the office or booking online today.