What is a Bulging Disc?

  • Occurs when a disc bulges through a space in the spine
  • Most common cause is aging
  • We treat with a minimally invasive laser procedure

A bulging disc is a condition related to the spine, usually the lower back, occurring when a disc bulges through a crevice in the spine. It happens when the disc shifts out of its normal position. The most frequent cause is simply a result of aging. A bulging disc is different than a herniated disc because it happens over time, not as the result of sudden trauma or injury. In the majority of patients who experience a bulging disc, there is no pain unless the disc becomes herniated or protrudes into a nerve. Sometimes, a bulging disc is diagnosed as a condition secondary to another problem. Because a bulging disc does not always cause pain, it may only be found during a routine or diagnostic imaging test such as MRI. Typically, a bulging disc is not a problem unless it begins to cause pain, becomes herniated or ruptures.

Our Treatment Approach

Similar to a herniated disc, our team of back and spine specialists uses minimally invasive surgical techniques with a simple laser to repair the bulging disc. Because this minimally invasive approach does not require cutting of muscle, surrounding tissue is spared additional trauma and recovery is generally less painful and faster than traditional surgery for bulging disc.

Causes

This condition can be caused by:
  • Aging
  • Sudden trauma or injury to a disc
  • Predisposition to the disorder

Symptoms

Bulging disc symptoms depend on the location. Some patients may experience symptoms of pain and discomfort in the legs and feet, others in the arms and in other regions of the body. The diagnosis of a bulging disc is usually made after a complete medical history has been taken and MRIs, CT scans and/or X-rays have confirmed the presence of the condition.