Herniated Disc Specialist

Richard B. Kim, MD -  - Neurosurgery

Richard B. Kim, MD

Neurosurgery located in Newport Beach, CA

The discs in your back have the important job of allowing your spine to move without injury to the vertebral bones. But if a disc slips out of place or bulges, it can place pressure on the nearby nerves and cause pain throughout your back and body. Experienced neurosurgeon Richard Kim MD MS Inc frequently treats symptoms of a herniated disc at his offices in Newport Beach, California. To explore treatments for your herniated disc and find pain relief, call Richard Kim MD MS Inc or book an appointment online today.

Herniated Disc

What is a herniated disc?

The discs in your back act as cushions between each of your vertebrae. The discs are soft on the inside with a firmer outer layer. A herniated disc happens when a disc ruptures, slips out of place, or bulges into your spinal canal.

Herniated discs are most common in your lumbar spine (lower back). However, you can also get one in your cervical spine (neck). Your discs slowly become weaker over time as you age and become increasingly vulnerable to damage and displacement.

You can slip or rupture a disc after lifting a heavy object, contorting your back in an unusual way, or even making a minor movement that seems insignificant.

What are some common symptoms of a herniated disc?

Herniated discs can place pressure on the nerves within your spine and cause various symptoms associated with nerve pain and numbness. The symptoms that you experience and their location depend on which nerves the herniated disc is compressing and where they are along your spinal column.

Common signs of a herniated disc are:

  • Arm pain
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Muscle weakness
  • Pain in your buttocks
  • Leg pain

Leg and buttock pain can develop if your herniated disc is in your lumbar spine, due to compression of the nerves that extend into your legs, like your sciatic nerve.

Some herniated discs come without any symptoms. If you get symptoms of a herniated disc, they often go away with some rest and home care. If you feel numbness or weakness in your limbs, Dr. Kim can help locate your herniated disc and decide how to go about treatment.

How are herniated discs treated?

Dr. Kim typically treats herniated discs using conservative, non-surgical measures. He may suggest relieving your pain with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, or an epidural steroid injection.

You might need to consider surgery for your herniated disc if:

  • Your pain is persistent or severe
  • You have difficulty walking or standing
  • Weakness and numbness are worsening
  • You develop bladder or bowel problems

If you require surgery, Dr. Kim performs it using a minimally-invasive strategy on an outpatient basis. That means you can leave the clinic after your surgery without spending a night in the hospital.

Minimally invasive laminotomy is one option for herniated disc surgery. During this procedure, Dr. Kim uses a small incision to access your spine and removes a portion of the vertebrae to relieve pressure on your nerves.

To consult with Richard Kim MD MS Inc about a herniated disc, call his office directly or book an appointment online today.