Treatment in Dubai
A herniated disc (also called slipped or ruptured disc or disc prolapse) refers to a condition where the fragile centre of a spinal disc pushes out of a crack in its outer case and may cause nerve impingement.
It typically occurs in the neck and lower back or anywhere along the spine. It can often cause pain in the neck, lower back, arms and legs. In addition to pain, patients may experience pins and needles sensations or numbness. Rarely bowel or bladder function may be affected. A discectomy is the most recommended surgical technique for a Herniated Disc in Dubai if non-operative treatments fail.
What causes a herniated disc?
A herniated disc is most commonly caused by the gradual age-related wear and tear called disc degeneration. However, it can also be caused by an excessive strain or injury on the back. The risk factors associated with a slipped disc are as follows;
Gender: It is often found that men between the ages of 20 and 50 are at higher risk of suffering from a herniated disc.
Weight: People who are overweight suffer added stress on their lower back and are more likely to have a herniated disc.
Frequent driving: Frequent and long driving demands staying seated long, which stresses the spine and discs.
Improper lifting: Improper lifting techniques, such as using back muscles instead of leg muscles to lift heavy objects, can result in a herniated disc.
Smoking: Smoking is believed to accelerate degenerative disc disease, which leads to a higher risk of disc prolapse.
Activities that strain your spine: Repetitive physical activities that demand constant lifting, pulling, bending, and twisting can pressurise your spine and cause a slipped disc.
Symptoms of a Herniated Disc
- Pain and numbness, usually on one side of the body
- Arm or leg pain
- Muscle weakness
- Tingling, aching, or a burning sensation in the affected area
- Pain on standing, walking, or with certain movements
After studying the symptoms and medical history, a physical examination of the patient is performed, followed by imaging and nerve tests to narrow down the cause of the pain;
During the physical test, the doctor checks your back for tenderness. Physical examination includes the following tests:
- Neurological examination: Neurological tests are performed to determine your muscle strength, reflexes, and walking ability.
- Straight leg raise (SLR) test: The SLR test is useful for predicting a herniated disc in patients.
The following imaging tests can be done to see which nerve is affected:
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)– These use magnetic fields to provide clear images of the body’s internal structures. MRI scans are performed to detect which spinal nerves are damaged.
X-ray: X-rays use electromagnetic waves to produce images of dense structures. Plain X-rays can not detect herniated discs, but they can rule out the other causes of back pain, such as an infection, tumour, spinal alignment issues, or a broken bone.
CT (Computerized Tomography) Scan: These are used to generate more detailed pictures of the spinal column by taking a series of X-rays from different directions and combining them to create cross-sectional images.
EMG studies are often performed along with nerve conduction to determine if the nerve is functioning properly,
Electromyography (EMG): EMG involves the insertion of a needle electrode through your skin into various muscles. It measures the electrical impulses of the muscles at rest and during contractions.
Nerve conduction test: This measures the electrical nerve impulses and functioning in the muscles and nerves with the help of electrodes placed on your skin.
In most Dubai clinics, the following treatment methods are recommended and provided to patients who have pain in the cervical spine:
Non-surgical treatment often includes
Medications: NSAIDs or Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs such as ibuprofen or diclofenac are often prescribed to control the pain.
Physical therapy: Physical therapy is often used to educate patients on good body mechanics, which helps to avoid excessive wear and tear on the discs. Specific exercises help strengthen your lower back and abdominal muscles.
Epidural steroid injection: A cortisone-like drug is injected into the space around the nerve, bringing short-term pain relief by reducing inflammation. This may be all that is required, removing the pain while the body absorbs the disc prolapse.
Surgical treatment is often a necessary herniated disc treatment for those patients who experience severe pain and functional disability. It is also recommended for those who dont get enough relief from conservative treatments. Some of the surgical treatments are:
Laminotomy or Laminectomy surgery involves a small incision to create an opening in the lamina (vertebral arch) to relieve pressure on your nerve roots.
Discectomy or Microdiscectomy is the most common procedure used to treat a single herniated disk. Endoscopic discectomies are also used for some patients with a suitable disc prolapse. This surgery involves a small incision at the level of the disk herniation. Next, the herniated part of the disc is removed along with the additional fragments responsible for putting pressure on the spinal nerve.
Artificial disc surgery
Artificial disc surgery involves an incision through the neck or the abdomen and replacing the damaged disc with an artificial disc.
Spinal fusion involves the permanent fusion (unison)of two or more vertebrae. The procedure uses implants to help achieve a solid fusion.
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Dr Sherief Elsayed for slipped disc treatment in Dubai?
Dr Sherief Elsayed is a well-known and highly trained spinal surgeon for herniated disc treatment in Dubai. He is comprehensively trained for exclusively treating patients with various spinal conditions. He has a great success rate in performing slipped disc surgery in Dubai. He is also known for receiving multiple prestigious awards for his research and contributions to developing the field of spinal surgery. His patients’ reviews are testimony to his caring, confidential and discreet approach.