A herniated nucleus pulposus (HNP) is a condition where the inner part of the intervertebral disc (nucleus pulposus) bulges or ruptures through the outer layer of the disc (annulus fibrosus). This can lead to compression of the nerves that run through the spinal column and cause pain, numbness, and weakness in the affected areas.
Cervical, thoracic, and lumbar refer to the different regions of the spinal column. The cervical spine is located in the neck area and consists of 7 vertebrae, the thoracic spine is located in the upper back and consists of 12 vertebrae, and the lumbar spine is located in the lower back and consists of 5 vertebrae.
When an HNP occurs in the cervical spine, it can cause pain and weakness in the neck, shoulders, arms, and hands. In severe cases, it can lead to loss of sensation and function in the upper extremities.
When an HNP occurs in the thoracic spine, it can cause pain and weakness in the chest, abdomen, and lower back. This is a less common location for an HNP to occur,”explains Orthopedic Surgeon Rolando Garcia, M.D.
When an HNP occurs in the lumbar spine, it can cause pain and weakness in the lower back, buttocks, legs, and feet. This is the most common location for an HNP to occur.
Treatment for an HNP may include physical therapy, pain management, and in some cases, surgery. It is important to work with a medical professional to determine the best course of treatment for your specific situation.
The surgery for treating a herniated nucleus pulposus (HNP) is called a discectomy. This procedure involves removing the herniated portion of the intervertebral disc that is compressing the nerves in the spinal column. In some cases, a laminotomy or laminectomy may also be performed to remove a portion of the bone that is pressing on the nerves.
These procedures can be done using minimally invasive techniques, which can reduce recovery time and minimize scarring. However, surgery is typically considered a last resort option and is only recommended if other treatments have been unsuccessful or if there is evidence of significant neurological impairment. Please check our two locations. For all scheduling questions or for appointments, call 305.937.1999