It is a difficult process identifying an accurate clinical diagnosis of the underlying cause of back pain. It can be crucial in making decisions regarding treatment options. No matter what disc problem a person may be facing. Be it a slipped disc, bulging disc, or a degenerated disc. It is important for the patient to distinguish whether the pain is radiating within the disc or the pain is along the nerve root.
Some insights will go a long way in choosing the most suitable diagnostic and treatments options for you.
1) Having a Disc Disorder Does Not Necessarily means Having Pain:
This might sound against common sense, but it is factual that a damaged or diseased disc doesn’t always accompany pain or any other symptoms. An evident MRI can show how people may defect of disc problems. People reaching the age of 40 have a high percentage of some sorts of disc problems. This can be relatable to some disorders that too don’t accompany significant symptoms as such as a heart murmur. A heart murmur is a heart defect accompanying no symptoms.
MRI scans fail to process the amount of pain a patient may experience due to one or more disc problems. The symptoms of the pain are often neglected by the MRI.
- A person with a large herniated disc can have no symptoms at all
- While burning, searing pain that radiates down the leg can be experienced by an individual with small disc herniation.
This insight is crucial to understand because if a disc problem gets identified on an MRI but is not mainly associated with a patient’s pain. Then all the treatment options will be in vain. While some patients may be unfortunate to go through a surgery to treat their herniated disc just to find out that the severity of the pain remains constant.
2) Diagnostic Testing is not a discovery zone for Source of the Pain:
The spine specialist may interview the patient regarding his medical history. It will be combined with an assessment of patients’ symptoms. This is known as the clinical diagnosis that will give the cause of the pain.
A more detailed assessment will then be required by a radiographic test, such as an MRI scan, X-ray or CT scan. This will confirm the cause of the underlying problem and give rise to more treatment options. This type of assessment can be helpful in planning a surgery too. The radiographic test is not usually used to identify a diagnosis. But it is helpful in confirming or ruling out possibilities.
3) Deciding on a Disc Surgery is Hard Decision to Make!
When deciding a treatment option for disc problem that involves surgery. Ensure the type of surgery prior to going for a surgery. For example, some notable Surgeries Options for Disc Problems. Microdiscectomy is conservative surgery for a herniated disc to eliminate any radiating pain. This surgery has a high success rate when it comes to relieving pain. The recovery time is also notably short. Lumbar Spinal Fusion is another typical surgery option to treat lumbar degenerative disc disease. The recovery time is often longer and reliable outcomes are also less.
That’s not all there are types within types of surgery. So, a number of considerations are many when it comes to deciding. Let’s take an example of multilevel fusion surgery.
This type usually takes longer healing time. This causes stress because of relayed to some other levels of fusion that are non-fused. There are some levels that require extensive care as L4 – S1, this is known as multilevel. They require more care than one-level (L5-S1 or an L4-L5 fusion).
Such considerations will give an in–depth understanding to patients regarding their treatment and surgical options prior to any decision making.
It is important for patients to go through such insights to understand their condition better and get the most suitable treatment from a number of options available.
Clinical diagnosis may feel difficult especially when the underlying cause is hidden. But it is important for determining optimal treatment options
To help you with selecting the diagnostic and treatment options. Some below will benefit:
- Microdiscectomy: A conservative surgery for a herniated disc to eliminate any radiating pain. This surgery has a high success rate when it comes to relieving pain. The recovery time is also notably short.
- Lumbar Spinal Fusion: Anther typical surgery option to treat lumbar degenerative disc disease. The recovery time is often longer and reliable outcomes are also less.
Being ready to answer questions the physicians would be asking is very important. You may be asked to fill in the details. It is advised to be fully prepared for a visit to your spine specialist. The better you are prepared the more it will be better for you and your physician. Make your session complete but make sure to be brief when explaining to the physician.