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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Ruptured Disk: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Bones, Joints, and Muscles

Ruptured Disk

Alternate Names : Slipped Disk, Herniated Disk

Ruptured Disk | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

A ruptured disk is generally treated conservatively at first. Initial treatments include:

  • activity limitations
  • anti-inflammatory pain medicine, such as ibuprofen, ketoprofen, flurbiprofen, or naproxen
  • application of heat
  • massage
  • muscle relaxants, such as carisoprodol
  • a specialized exercise program
  • If conservative treatment is not successful, the healthcare provider may recommend surgery. The following operations may be helpful for people with a ruptured disk:

  • diskectomy or laminectomy, which allows the surgeon to remove the ruptured disk and relieve nerve pressure
  • injection of chymopapain, an enzyme, into the disk to dissolve it
  • nucleoplasty, which involves inserting a needle into the disk and applying heat with a special instrument
  • spinal fusion, which involves the joining of two or more vertebrae
  • What are the side effects of the treatments?

    Side effects of medicines include allergic reactions and stomach upset. Surgery is associated with a risk of infection, bleeding, and allergic reaction to anesthesia.

    What happens after treatment for the condition?

    After conservative treatment of a ruptured disk, a person can usually resume activity as tolerated. Symptoms may recur every now and then, requiring repeated treatment. Ninety percent of the time, surgery relieves symptoms, and the person can slowly resume normal activities. Physical therapy can be helpful to teach appropriate body mechanics and lifting techniques.

    How is the condition monitored?

    Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.

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    Ruptured Disk: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: Vincent J. Toups, MD
    Reviewer: Barbara Mallari, RN, BSN, PHN
    Date Reviewed: 09/05/01

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