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Damaged disks.

What is the difference between a bulging disk and a herniated disk? Can damaged disks be repaired?

You are referring to the disks in the spine that cushion the spaces between the vertebrae. A bulging disk is compressed between two vertebrae so that the disk is protruding outside of the spinal column. A herniated disk occurs when some of the soft inner cartilage of the disk protrudes outward through a crack or tear in the tougher outer layer. "Ruptured" and "slipped" disks are other terms commonly used for herniated disks.

Changes in the disks are identified by imaging tests such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerized tomography (CT) scans. Pai resulting from bulging or herniated disks is initially treated with medication, physical therapy, and/or acupuncture. But many people who have bulging disks or herniated disks experience no pain or other symptoms.

Surgical treatment options should be considered as a last resort, since study findings are mixed on the success of surgical outcomes (some studies have found symptom improvement following surgery, while others have found that symptoms have remained constant or become worse following surgery). The most common surgical options include diskectomy, during which the herniated portion of the disk is removed, and fusion, in which the problematic disk is removed and the vertebrae are permanently connected to one another. Implantation of artificial disks that are similar in structure to healthy disks is a relatively new procedure, and long-term results are not yet known.

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Title Annotation:ASK.DR.ETINGIN; bulging disk and a herniated disk
Publication:Women's Health Advisor
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2011
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