Orthopedist Questions Back Injuries

What is the course of treatment for a slip disc?

My mother had a fall and ever since has been suffering with a slip disc. What is the course of treatment for treating her condition? When can she resume her normal everyday activities?

14 Answers

Treatment begins with rest, meds and then Physical therapy once the pain improves. Epidural shots may be required occasionally. If none of the above work over a 6-9 month period of time, then surgery may be the answered. For activites, let pain be your guide. If it doesn't hurt, then its ok to do.
A slipped disc can be treated with or without surgery, but this depends on the extent of the change. I would highly advise seeing a back specialist to have this evaluated.
That's hard to answer without more specific information.
Depend on her symptoms as soon as possible better
If your mother has not improved after 6 weeks, she should consult an orthopedic surgeon who will probably order an X-ray and MRI. Unfortunately, some patients will require surgery if nonoperative management including antiinflamatory medication and physical therapy are not helpful.
The first treatment is PT and medication. If sciatica is present an MRI is indicated. Surgery is the last resort. Resumption of activity depend on relief of pain.
The best plan is to potter about and continue with normal daily activities avoiding heavy lifting or twisting the spine, and most slipped discs will settle without any other treatment in about 3 months
AGC
Dear reader,

Normally, a slipped disk is not caused by an accident. Some are, however.
Most slipped disks disappear in time without treatment. They cause pain for 6-12 weeks, which is best treated with standard pain medication. Prescriptions through your general physician. In some cases, there is a neurological deficit like paralysis or incontinence. If so, this should be addressed by a neurosurgeon. If there is no or minimal neurology, there is no reason to operate on your mother.

I hope I have informed you to your satisfaction,
Met vriendelijke groet,
Dr. R.H.G.P. van Erve, orthopedisch chirurg
First, she should consult with a spine surgeon to discuss neurologic symptoms and to establish care in case she needs surgery. If she has no neurologic symptoms (numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, bladder/bowel dysfunction, etc.), then physical therapy, anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxing medication, and possibly steroid injections compose a typical treatment plan.

Resumption of activity depends on resolution of symptoms.
It’s best to evaluate in person and to obtain some imaging studies making sure there’s nothing of significant concern. Then usually if everything is OK then we start in physical therapy and increase activities as tolerated.
When people say slipped disc they are usually referring to a disc herniation. Initial treatments could consist of physical therapy and neuroleptics if the pain is radiating down the arm or the leg. And depending on the response to treatment possibly an epidural steroid injection would be indicated. In less than 5% of the cases is surgery required.
Physical therapy, rest, ice and heat alternating. Traction. Depending on the amount of disc pressing on the nerve will determine whether surgery should be done or not.
Need more info. Any leg pain? X-ray?
The normal course of treatment would be nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy. Surgery is considered when conservative treatment methods fail.