What Are the Treatment Options for a Herniated Disc?

What Are the Treatment Options for a Herniated Disc?

Here’s a helpful guide to learn more about herniated discs and the treatment options available.

We turned to John C. Liu, MD, from the USC Spine Center at Keck Medicine of USC to get a better understanding of what kind of symptoms and treatment options are available for a herniated disc.

What is a herniated disc?

A herniated disc is when part of the spine pushes on a nerve, Liu explains. Oftentimes, this can cause tremendous amounts of leg pain, numbness, tingling and, sometimes, weakness.

A herniated disc usually occurs in the lumbar spine, also known as the lower back, but can occur in other areas of the spine.

This open enrollment, make sure your plan includes Keck Medicine of USC. KeckMedicine.org/insurance

What are the treatment options?

At the USC Spine Center, our physicians use a team approach for initial treatment. This can include oral medications, physical therapy and, potentially, steroid injections.

If this process isn’t successful, they move on to the next phase, which may include a minimally invasive spine operation. This procedure can be effective in the recovery process for anyone with a herniated disc.

A minimally invasive spine operation involves a small incision, usually about 18 mm in length. Once the herniated disc is found, the doctors take the pressure away from the nerve.


• The process only takes 90 minutes.
• It may relieve leg symptoms.
• Recovery typically takes about six to 12 weeks.

If you have a spine injury, make an appointment with a spine specialist. To learn more about the USC Spine Center, visit http://spine.keckmedicine.org.

To schedule an appointment, call (800) USC-CARE (800-872-2273) or visit http://spine.keckmedicine.org/request-an-appointment/.