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Virginia Orthopaedic and Spine Center
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Lumbar Discectomy

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The regions of the spine are defined by their vertebral curvature and function. Vertebrae are the bones that align to make up your spine. The lumbar spine is located in your lower back. The main function of the lumbar spine is to support the weight of your upper body. The lumbar spine primarily allows you to bend forward or flex and extend or straighten at the waist. You use lumbar flexion when you bend forward to touch your toes. You use lumbar extension when you straighten your back to stand erect after bending forward.

A herniated or “ruptured” disc is a common source of low back pain. Discs are the shock-absorbing pads that are between vertebrae. A herniated disc occurs when its outer layer ruptures and the contents come out of the disc. If the contents extend into the spinal canal, it can put pressure on the spinal nerves.

A herniated disc can cause tingling, numbness, pain, and weakness in one or both legs. It can also cause back pain. Most herniated discs can resolve with non-surgical treatments. However, when conservative treatments fail, Lumbar Discectomy surgery is recommended to relieve pain and restore function.

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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.

The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on April 13th, 2016. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.