Disc problems can come from poor posture, repeated minor injuries from lifting or turning, result of major trauma or disease. Overweight people are susceptible as the extra weight puts pressure on the spine. The discs can lose some of their protective coating and content which may make them more susceptible to slipping out of position as we grow older
The most common symptom is lower back pain which causes problems straightening your back. Numbness can be felt in the shoulders, back, arms, hands, legs and feet with pain also in the neck. Sciatica will cause pain in the buttocks, hips or legs.
A physical examination will test posture, reflexes, muscle strength and sensation in your arms and legs. A GP may ask you to slowly raise your legs from a lying flat or sitting position to stretch the nerves in the spine to reveal the site and levels of pain. If the symptoms do not settle down and ease in one to three months then further tests, such as an MRI scan, may be required to pinpoint the problem.
Keyhole Discectomy involves a tiny incision to allow physicians to remove a section of the slipped disc with minimal soft tissue damage. Fibre-optic lighting guides specialized instruments for accuracy and most patients are discharged within 24 hours.
Patients who found difficulty in walking before surgery are often able to walk more freely with a better range of movements following treatment.