Disc prolapse is bulging out (herniating) of the inner softer part of the disc (the nucleus pulposus) through a weak point in the outer part of the disc. It is also called as herniated disc. Any part of the spinal disc can prolapse with varying degree of size of prolapse.
The bulging disc can either press on the nearby structures like nerves of spinal cord or cause inflammation around the prolapsed part of the disc.
People who have a weakness in the outer part of the disc may suffer from slipped disc due to any of the following:
The symptoms produced by prolapsing of disc depend upon its size and location. Some prolapses are very small and does not cause any symptoms while other may present as:
Physical examination and thorough history of the patient generally helps the physician in diagnosis of a ‘slipped’ (prolapsed) disc. In most cases, no tests or treatment is required, as the symptoms often settle within a few weeks. But if symptoms persist for longer period of time, following tests may be required:
The abnormal disc that is causing symptoms or does not get better in few weeks, need treatment that may include any of the following: