The discs are soft cushions in between your vertebrae that act as shock absorbers for your spine. They consist of a soft central portion (nucleus pulposus) and harder outer covering (annulus fibrosis).
Disc herniations occur when there is a rupture of the outer covering, allowing the inner portion to squeeze out, compressing your nerves in and around your spinal canal. These herniations can occur acutely from a specific event or can develop slowly over time, and can cause pain, tingling, numbness, and/or weakness. If nonoperative measures do not resolve the problem, Dr. Steinhaus may recommend minimally invasive microdiscectomy, which involves a small incision (16-18mm) and the use of a microscope to remove the disc fragment and free the nerve compression.